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Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend

Friday, October 11, 2019

It's our Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend with the official holiday occurring on Monday, October 14th.

It's generally assumed that we celebrate Thanksgiving earlier than the US because we live farther north and thus bring in the harvest earlier, but there's a little more to it than that. In fact, over the years we've celebrated Thanksgiving for reasons other than having a bountiful harvest.

shares that. "The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are more closely connected to the traditions of Europe than of the United States. Long before Europeans settled in North America, festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in Europe in the month of October. The very first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in 1578 in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England. in search of the Northwest Passage. He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World. That means the first Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts!

For a few hundred years, Thanksgiving was celebrated in either late October or early November, before it was declared a national holiday in 1879. It was then, that November 6th was set aside as the official Thanksgiving holiday. But then on January 31st, 1957, Canadian Parliament announced that on the second Monday in October, Thanksgiving would be "a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed." Thanksgiving was moved to the second Monday in October because after the World Wars, Remembrance Day (November 11th) and Thanksgiving kept falling in the same week."

tells us that, "Since the 19th century, Canada has proclaimed specific reasons to be thankful. For many years the reason was simply “Blessings of an abundant harvest,” and for the last 50 or so, the holiday has been celebrated “For general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings with which the people of Canada have been favoured.” However, here and there - especially in the early days - there were more precise reasons, including the “Cessation of cholera” in 1833 and the “End of sanguinary (bloody; murderous; bloodthirsty; cruel) contest in Europe” in 1814."

However, while our Thanksgiving origins are different, both Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving much the same way with parades, family gatherings, pumpkin pie and a whole lot of turkey!

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