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Canadian Thanksgiving: A Time for Gratitude and Gathering

Discover the Rich Traditions and Flavors of Thanksgiving in Canada

Thanksgiving Celebrations by Canadians

Thanksgiving in Canada is a cherished holiday celebrated on the second Monday in October. It is a time for Canadians to come together with family and friends to give thanks, celebrate the harvest, and express gratitude. Here's how Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada:

Gathering with Family and Friends: Thanksgiving is primarily a family-oriented holiday. Canadians take this opportunity to reunite with loved ones, whether they live nearby or need to travel. Families often gather for a special meal and spend quality time together.

Thanksgiving Feast: The centerpiece of Canadian Thanksgiving is the feast, which typically includes a roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and a variety of side dishes. Families may also incorporate dishes from their cultural backgrounds, making each Thanksgiving meal unique.

Gratitude and Reflection: Canadians take time to reflect on the things they are thankful for. It's a time to express gratitude for the blessings of the past year, including family, health, happiness, and prosperity. Many people go around the table, sharing what they are thankful for.

Harvest Season: Thanksgiving in Canada coincides with the country's vibrant autumn season. Many Canadians take advantage of the beautiful fall foliage and the abundance of local produce. It's a time for outdoor activities such as apple picking, hiking, or simply enjoying the colorful landscapes.

Thanksgiving Parades: Some Canadian cities host Thanksgiving parades featuring floats, marching bands, and entertainment. The largest and most famous of these parades is held in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, drawing crowds of spectators.

Thanksgiving Decorations: Canadians often decorate their homes with fall-themed decor, including pumpkins, gourds, and autumn leaves. The warm and cozy ambiance created by these decorations adds to the festive spirit of Thanksgiving.

Charitable Acts: Thanksgiving is also a time for Canadians to give back to their communities. Many people engage in charitable activities such as food drives, volunteering at local shelters, or supporting those in need to ensure that everyone can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

Sports and Activities: Canadian Thanksgiving weekend is a time for relaxation and fun. Families may participate in outdoor sports, watch football games, or go for long walks to enjoy the crisp autumn air.

Cultural Celebrations: Canadian Indigenous communities have their own unique ways of celebrating the harvest season. For example, the Haudenosaunee people celebrate the 'Skaná:we Festival' as a time to give thanks for the harvest and honor their culture.

Multicultural Celebrations: Canada is a diverse country with people from many cultural backgrounds. Thanksgiving in Canada often reflects this diversity, with various cultural foods and traditions incorporated into the celebration.

Canadian Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition that emphasizes family, gratitude, and a celebration of the harvest. It's an opportunity for Canadians to come together and appreciate the blessings in their lives, while also enjoying the beauty of the autumn season.

The people of Canada celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. On the other hand, America celebrates Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. Also In Canada, instead of eating turkey they have ham or lamb and they used to have La tourtiere, a pastry pie filled with potatoes, rabbit or hare and partridge or pheasant.  Thanksgiving is celebrated to thank the Lord Almighty for a bountiful harvest.

History of First Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner Table

In Canada, The first Thanksgiving was celebrated on 15th April 1872. The festival was celebrated to thank the recovery of King Edward VII from a serious illness. The next Thanksgiving was celebrated after a few years in 1879 on Thursday.

Canada later had a turbulent time deciding the day of national Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was celebrated on Thursday in November between 1879 and 1898. Later it was celebrated on a Thursday in October between 1899 and 1904. Thereafter, it was celebrated on Monday in the month of October. This was between the periods of 1908-1921.

Thanksgiving came to be celebrated on 'Armistice Day' in later years. This was however, amended in 1931.

The Parliament announced the second Monday in the month of October as the official 'Thanksgiving Day' on January 31, 1957. It was declared as "A day of general Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest “.

Canadian Thanksgiving Celebration

People celebrate Thanksgiving Day having parades, customary 'family feast' and 'turkey'. It is a time for sharing, loving and family reunions. The main thing behind the celebration is to be thankful for the past harvest and praying for the coming year.

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