Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with PilotsFriend!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! This holiday is all about spending time with loved ones, eating a big delicious meal, and giving thanks for what you have. Thanksgiving is a meaningful holiday celebrated by many each year. Additionally, this holiday has been celebrated for centuries, and there is a rich history behind how the holiday began in Canada. Keep reading to find out more about what Thanksgiving means, and how it originated!

What is Thanksgiving About?

Similar to our American neighbors, Thanksgiving is generally considered to be a holiday for spending time with your family and loved ones, and for giving thanks for all that you are grateful for. Additionally, It is a celebration of the harvest that comes every fall, and a celebration of the food that we receive from it each year. That’s why it’s a tradition to eat a large meal each Thanksgiving, with harvest foods such as sweet potatoes and squash. 

How Did Thanksgiving in Canada Originate?

Both Native Americans and Indigenous Canadians have long celebrated the fall harvest, while settlers followed suit as they settled on the Canadian mainland. The first national Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated in the Province of Canada in 1859, the day was established as a national day of “public and solemn recognition of God.” However, the first Thanksgiving after the dominion of Canada was formed was observed as a national civic holiday rather than a religious one. 

The day the holiday would be celebrated was not set in stone for quite some time. It wasn’t until 1957 that the parliament proclaimed the observance of Thanksgiving to be the second Monday in October as a “day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” 

How is Thanksgiving in Canada Different?

Although the meaning and celebration of the holiday are similar in both the United States and Canada, there are a few key differences that set them apart. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November to honor the day the pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts on the Mayflower. In Canada however, Thanksgiving is celebrated much earlier each year, on the second Monday in October. 

The tradition is actually much older in Canada than it is in the United States. It stems from the 16th century, when Sir Martin Frobisher sailed from England and his crew arrived in Nunavut (One of Canada’s northern territories). He and his crew gathered, ate, and celebrated the day. Thanksgiving in Canada and the United States do have some differences, but they both include well-loved food staples such as turkey and pumpkin pie!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you are able to spend the day with friends and family this year. Share a Thanksgiving dinner and impress them with all you now know about Thanksgiving in Canada! Don’t forget to be thankful for all that you are grateful for. PilotsFriend wishes you a happy Thanksgiving this year!