For those familiar with Thanksgiving in the US, you might be surprised to know that Thanksgiving in Canada doesn’t happen in November. So, when is Thanksgiving Day in Canada?
That will probably be a question you will ask year after year! In many ways, it is no different from America. However, each country has its own customs and traditions. There are probably a lot of interesting things you may not have known about Canadian Thanksgiving. In today’s article, we’ll walk you through the facts and answer the question “when is Thanksgiving Day in Canada”.
When is Thanksgiving Day in Canada 2021?
If you suspected that Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving take place on two different dates, you’d be right. In fact, it didn’t even happen in the same month. So, when is Thanksgiving Day in Canada?
As always, Thanksgiving in America will take place on the fourth Thursday of November. But in Canada, it will take place on the second Monday in October – a month earlier than the holiday in the US. This year, Thanksgiving falls on Monday, October 11, 2021.
Thanksgiving is also an official statutory holiday, with the exception of certain areas including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
Churches and homes are decorated with pumpkins, corn, wheat husks, and other harvested crops. Although the Thanksgiving holiday is practically on a Monday, Canadians can gather to celebrate their Thanksgiving on any day during the long weekend; however, Sunday is chosen by most families to celebrate.
Traditions of Canadian Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving in Canada marks the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Step back in history to better understand the history and traditions of Thanksgiving in Canada. It dates back to when the English explorer, Martin Frobisher, came to the land we now call Canada while searching for a passage from the North to the Orient.
In 1578, when Martin Frobisher came to Canada on his third voyage, he held a solemn ceremony to give thanks for having survived the long journey – one of his ships had gotten lost en route. Frobisher and crew celebrated with salt beef and peas. Meanwhile, south of the border, it would be another 43 years before the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving meal.
In addition to taking place many years before neighboring America, Canada’s Thanksgiving also takes place more than a month before the United States. One reason is that the harvest season starts earlier in northern Canada than it does in the US.
In 1879, Thanksgiving had become a nationally recognized holiday in Canada. The date of the holiday has changed a few times since then, and since 1957 has been fixed until now.
How Does Canada Celebrate Thanksgiving?
Today, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering with family and friends and preparing a Thanksgiving Day meal, which often includes turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and more other side dishes. Sound familiar? For the most part, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving quite similarly to Americans.
However, meals often have regional variations. For example, the Newfoundlanders could go back to the original Frobisher party and serve Jiggs dinner, a boiled meat dish often paired with pea pudding. Or, instead of the traditional pumpkin pie, Ontarians often serve butter tarts – a small pastry filled with delicious semi-solid syrup made up of butter, sugar, and eggs.
In addition to family meals, many families plan a long walk, a hiking trip, or drive the weekend before the holiday. After all, the weather in early fall is the ideal time for outdoor activities.
In Canada, where Thanksgiving is celebrated, most government offices, schools, post offices will be closed, and so will many local utilities. Public transport may run on a holiday or Sunday schedule. Banks and the Toronto Stock Exchange will also be closed on this day.
In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, where Thanksgiving is not a holiday, employers are not required to pay employees if they take Thanksgiving Day off, so many families often celebrate Thanksgiving on the Sunday before instead.
The difference between Thanksgiving in the US and Canada
This holiday in the US and Canada has a lot of similarities such as eating turkey, traveling with the family, but there are also certain differences.
The difference in the time of the holiday
The first difference is in the timing of the holidays. As shared above, Thanksgiving in the US takes place on the fourth Thursday of November. Along with that, American citizens, as well as international students, will have 4 days off.
Meanwhile, Thanksgiving Day in Canada will take place on the second Monday in October and lasts for 3 days. However, it should be noted that this regulation only applies to some Atlantic states of Canada, not a national holiday like the US.
The most famous parade in the United States is Macy’s Parade. In Canada, parades are often small in scale and limited to the local level. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is the only Canadian parade to be televised internationally.
The difference in the way of cooking
Turkey is a traditional dish for both Americans and Canadians. In addition, stuffed and mashed potatoes with cranberry sauce, sweet corn, vegetables, and pumpkin pie are other common dishes in this dish. However, both countries have their own traditional recipes and can vary from region to region.
Best Thanksgiving Gifts For Everyone
Now, you know when is Thanksgiving Day in Canada as well as some facts about Canadian Thanksgiving. Share with your friends if they also have the same question as you. Besides, to make this holiday more special, don’t forget to give a thoughtful present from our Thanksgiving gift collection.
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