Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Quick Facts - CA

AKA NameCanadian Thanksgiving
Hashtags#ThanksgivingMonday,#CanadianThanksgiving, #HappyThanksgivingCanada,#IndigenousPeoplesDay
2020 DateOctober 12, 2020
2021 DateOctober 11, 2021
Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving History

Thanksgiving Day celebrates the sharing of food and thanking God for the year's bountiful harvest and family health. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced back to two events. The first Canadian appearance of the holiday dates back to 1578 when Martin Frobisher and his crew came together for a communal meal to thank God for reuniting the crew after they were separated due to bad weather. The second appearance dates back to 1606, when Samuel de Champlain organized the Order of Good Cheer to boost settler's spirits after a dreadful winter. The feast included entertainment and was open to everyone, including the aboriginals, and continued as a weekly tradition followed by an annual tradition every autumn season.

Under British rule, the holiday differed in theme and dates until 1957, when the Canadian Parliament finally declared the official date of Thanksgiving celebrations to be held on the second Monday of October. This date coincides much better with the actual date of Canadian harvests due to the arrival of winter.

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Thanksgiving Facts & Quotes

  • According to the Turkey Farmers of Canada, for Thanksgiving 2015, 2.5 million whole turkeys were purchased by Canadians. (34% of the year's purchases).
  • Thanksgiving is not an official statutory holiday in the Maritime provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
  • Unlike the United States, Canada does not celebrate a Black Friday shopping equivalent the day after Thanksgiving.
  • 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. - Parliament Proclamation (January 31, 1957)
  • Give thanks for each new morning with its light, for rest and shelter of the night, for health and food, for love and friends, for everything thy goodness sends. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanksgiving Top Events and Things to Do

  • Watch the Canadian Football League Thanksgiving Day Classic football matches held in Montreal over the long weekend.
  • Use the long weekend to start decorating your home for Halloween.
  • Enjoy the last unofficial weekend of cottage season before the lakes and rivers begin to freeze.
  • Prepare a Canadian Maple Syrup dish. Popular dishes are Maple Ham and sweet baked beans with maple syrup.
  • Reflect on what you are thankful for this year. Prepare a small toast or speech for an evening dinner in order to thank your loved ones.

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