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.