Thanksgiving is an annual holiday in the Americas and Europe. Especially in Canada, this festival takes place earlier than in other countries in the region. It is held a month and a half before American Thanksgiving, on the second Monday in October. So, how is Thanksgiving celebrated in Canada? And why does Canada celebrate Thanksgiving in October? Is it any different from American?
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How Is Thanksgiving Celebrated In Canada?
Thanksgiving in Canada is the most awaited time before Christmas approaches. This is also an opportunity for family members to gather, enjoy delicious food together, and have warm conversations with friends and family. This is also the most popular tourist attraction in the country. If you want to travel to Canada this October, find out how is Thanksgiving celebrated in Canada.
Is Thanksgiving Day a Public Holiday?
Just like the United States, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in Canada. People are off work, all post offices and schools are closed. On this occasion, all business activities, post offices, and schools will be suspended. To create conditions for everyone to have the most comfortable time celebrating the occasion. Public transport systems are still operating, but at a lower frequency than usual.
In New Brunswick, Thanksgiving Day is a statutory holiday, which means businesses must close. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia considers Thanksgiving Day to be a retail closure day when some retail businesses are not allowed to open. Employees also have a legal right to refuse to work.
The Meaning of Canadian Thanksgiving Day
Canadians celebrate the festival to express gratitude to the agricultural gods for helping people have a good harvest. To give thanks for the great merits of the gods, the people held a grand feast after the end of the harvest.
Today, this festival is no longer socialized, but gradually becomes the framework of each household and it has become a holiday for the family. It is the time when everyone gathers and eats together.
How is Thanksgiving celebrated in Canada? What Do People Do?
Thanksgiving is usually celebrated in the evening with family and friends. The turkey is served as the main dish and is placed in the center of the table. In addition, other meats such as pigs, ducks, geese, wild birds can also be used on Thanksgiving if the family does not follow the tradition.
Indispensable side dishes on the holiday table such as corn, beans, and salad. Along with desserts like apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie. Surely these dishes will make visitors fall in love when invited to the local thanksgiving party.
Thanksgiving weekend is also the perfect time to take a short fall break. This may be the last chance for a short time for some to use holiday homes or cottages before winter arrives. Other popular activities include outdoor breaks to enjoy the beautiful colors of the Canadian fall, hiking, and fishing.
Football is often an important part of Thanksgiving in Canada as well as in the US. Professional teams often compete on this day so that spectators can watch it on television. In addition, many high school and college football teams play each other that weekend.
Some Thanksgiving Day Symbols in Canada
Thanksgiving Day in Canada is associated with the European tradition of harvest festivals. So, one of the common images seen at this time is cornucopia, or horn, filled with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Cornucopia, also known as “Horn of Plenty”. In ancient Greece, it meant a symbol of bounty and plenty. Turkeys, ears of corn, pumpkins, and other foods displayed at the table are also used to symbolize Thanksgiving Day.
There Is No Post-Thanksgiving Shopping Craze
In the United States, the mayhem that often occurs on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is inevitable. However, this aspect of the holiday is not the same in Canada, as Christmas is still very far away. This gives Canadians the opportunity to focus entirely on holidays, outings, travel, and celebrating the beauty of early October and the harvest!
Why does Canada celebrate Thanksgiving in October?
This is because the origins of Thanksgiving in Canada are tied more closely to European traditions than to those of the US. Going back in history, long ago, when Europeans settled in North America, thanksgiving and harvest festivals took place in Europe in October.
The first Thanksgiving in North America took place in Canada when an explorer named Martin Frobisher arrived in Newfoundland in 1578. He wanted to throw a party to thank God for safely reaching the New World. This is considered the origin of the present Thanksgiving.
Another reason why Canada’s Thanksgiving comes earlier than America’s is geographical. Canada is further north than the US, making the Canadian harvest come earlier than the American harvest. And because Thanksgiving for Canadians is more about thanksgiving for the harvest than the arrival of pilgrims. So it makes sense that they celebrate Thanksgiving.
So what’s the difference between Thanksgiving in Canada and American Thanksgiving? Not much! They both celebrate Thanksgiving with parades, family get-togethers, pumpkin pie, and, of course, lots of turkeys!
Now you know How Is Thanksgiving Celebrated In Canada and some other interesting information about Canadian Thanksgiving. So, does your country celebrate Thanksgiving? What are your Thanksgiving activities? Share with us in the comment section below!
Finally, no matter where, how, or when you celebrate it: Happy Thanksgiving!