Did you know that the first Thanksgiving celebration in North America actually took place in Canada? Back in 1578 an English sailor by that name of Sir Martin Frobisher landed on an island in northeastern Canada. He held his Thanksgiving celebration not for the harvest but in thanks for surviving the long journey from England through the perils of storms and icebergs. This celebration took place 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Over the next few hundred years we celebrated Thanksgiving. It was on November 6th, 1879 that it was officially declared as a national holiday. It was changed again on January 31st, 1957, when the Canadian Parliament moved Thanksgiving to the second Monday in October. This change was required because after the World Wars, Remembrance Day (November 11th) and Thanksgiving kept falling on the same week. Another reason that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving a month earlier, is that Canadian harvest season is finished sooner then our American neighbors to the south. Since Thanksgiving in Canada is more about giving thanks for the harvest season than the arrival of pilgrims, it makes sense to celebrate the holiday in October.
There are not many other differences between Canadian and American Thanksgiving, other than the date. Both Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with parades, family gatherings, pumpkin pie and a lot of turkey!
From all of us at Canada Drugs, Happy Thanksgiving!
As we all get ready for Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. We wanted to ask what you are doing to celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Do you have any family traditions that you’re looking forward to? Let us know all about your Thanksgiving plans!