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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

THE CANADIAN THANKSGIVING

I know our Canadian Thanksgiving is over. Monday, October 14th was our Thanksgiving. Like many of us I had a wonderful turkey dinner. But I got to thinking, what is the day really about?

Yes, we should be thankful and I was, for many things, but where did the Canadian Thanksgiving day come from? As a Canadian, I had no idea – so I researched it, mostly for my own interest, but I thought I’d share it. The Canadian Thanksgiving occurs on the second Monday in October every year. It was officially proclaimed by the Canadian government on Thursday, January 31st, 1957.

A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.

It is a statutory holiday in all the Canadian provinces except Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, where it is an optional holiday. It also coincides with the American Columbus Day and the English and European Harvest festival. And like the Americans we also have football games and parades in some area, on the day.

Thanksgiving days were observed in Canada starting in 1799, but weren’t held every year. After the  American Revolution, American refugees who remained loyal to Great Britain moved from the newly independent United States and came to Canada. They brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada, such as the turkey, pumpkin, and squash. (Football came later).

The first Thanksgiving Day after Canadian Confederation was observed as a civic holiday on April 5, 1872, to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness.

For many years before it was declared a national holiday in 1879, Thanksgiving was celebrated in either late October or early November. From 1879 onward, Thanksgiving Day has been observed every year, the date initially being a Thursday in November. The date of celebration changed several times until 1957.

So now I know. It was something that evolved over time and with input from various countries and people. If you have any other interesting information or tidbits on our Thanksgiving, please share them with us.

10 comments:

  1. Wonderful information and a Happy (if belated) Thanksgiving to all the wonderful neighbors in the North! I set a large part of my third novel in Cayuga, Canada so I'm always happy to learn a little more about the new home of my good vampires in "Immortal Relations Coming Out." (-;

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    1. How interesting. So what would vampire Thanksgiving be like?

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  2. As with everything in Canada - our traditions evolved and were influenced by the world - which is why we have such a great country. I didn't know the history behind Thanksgiving - it's just always been there.

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    1. Like I said at the start, that was why I researched it. Our multi-culturism started a long time ago.

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  3. Interesting information on the Canadian Thanksgiving, Beverly.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this, Beverly. I wasn't really aware of a Canadian Thanksgiving until I became a writer. Some of my friends are in your country, and this yearI sold my first and second books to MuseItUp Publishing, a small Canadian e-press. I've got a post at the MuseItUp blog today--also on Thanksgiving and how holidays play out in our books.

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    1. I don't think a lot of people realize we have Thanksgiving and that it's in October. Congrats on selling to MuseItUp.
      What's the URL for your MuseIt Up blog?

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  5. What a great post! I didn't realize how close the American Thanksgiving and Canadian Thanksgiving really are. I wish that the holidays could be combined but I think the Canadians have it smarter with more time between Thanksgiving and Christmas!

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    1. I agree. It would be nice if they were held at the same time, but I like the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas in our country. Two turkey dinners in a month and I'd be waddling into the next year.

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