1. In Canada, Thanksgiving is a three-day weekend.
2. Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and settling in the New World, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest. The harvest season falls earlier in Canada, compared to the United States, due to the simple fact that Canada is further north.
3. In the year 1578, English explorer, Martin Frobisher, held a formal ceremony in what is now known as Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving.
4. Eventually in 1879, Parliament declared November 6th a day of Thanksgiving and a national holiday. Over the years, many dates were used for Thanksgiving, the most popular was the 3rd Monday in October. After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in
which November 11th occurred. Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.
Finally, on January 31st, 1957, Parliament proclaimed…”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. (A date which really snuck up on me this year!)
5. While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians might eat their Thanksgiving meal on any day of the three day weekend. In Canada, Thanksgiving is often celebrated with family, it is also often a time for weekend getaways for couples to observe the autumn leaves, spend one last weekend at the cottage or participate in various outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and hunting.
6. As a liturgical festival, Thanksgiving in Canada corresponds to the English and continental European Harvest festival, with churches decorated with cornucopias, pumpkins, corn, wheat sheaves and other harvest bounty.
7. On Thanksgiving, it is traditional to eat turkey. Other things that are part of the Thanksgiving menu are stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes and other foods that help make this holiday a great time.
8. When Thanksgiving was assigned to its present second Monday in October, former Ontario Premier E.C. Drury, head of the United Farmers of Ontario, decried the move as a ploy by city-dwellers to move a farmer’s holiday “up” the calendar so they could enjoy a long weekend while the weather was likely to
still be fine (at the farmer’s expense).
9. Here’s a link to a cute Thanksgiving craft — a Pine Cone Turkey!
10. Here’s a link to make beautiful, autumn leaf placemats, easy as can be.
11. From Canadian Living magazine, tips on how to cook the perfect turkey.
12. Let’s talk turkey! According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest turkey raised was 39.09 kilograms (86 pounds), about the size of a large dog; the average turkey hen will lay 110 to 115 eggs during a 28-30 week period; gobbling turkeys can be heard a mile away on a quiet day; Canada ranks sixth out of ten for world turkey production.
13. I am thankful for many things this Thanksgiving, including my circle of online friends. We plan to spend the holiday together with family–both of my daughters will arrive home at some point over the weekend AND my grandson, of course! :) Dinner will be at my Mom and Dad’s this year. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my fellow Canadians!