Canadian Thanksgiving vs US Thanksgiving (who was first)

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Canadian Thanksgiving

Filipinos generally see the world from an American perspective. That’s changing with the growing ties between Filipino communities in different countries, including Canada, and the Philippines. For example, did you know that Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving? Here’s the difference between Canadian Thanksgiving vs US Thanksgiving.

THANKSGIVING – A CANADIAN ORIGINAL

Canadian Thanksgiving takes place on the second Monday of October every year.

US Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

While US Thanksgiving may be more popular internationally, Canadian Thanksgiving may have been celebrated first.

The earliest recorded celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada was in 1578, when Martin Frobisher sailed to Canada for the third time.

When he arrived, Frobisher threw a big party to celebrate his safe arrival in Nunavut.

The Americans first recorded Thanksgiving happened in Plymouth in 1621, when pilgrims sat down and celebrated with Native Americans.

It’s thought that the reason why Canadian Thanksgiving is earlier is because of the harvest season, which begins earlier in Canada than in the US.

Some think that French settlers started celebrating Thanksgiving in the early 17th century.

Thanksgiving became a national holiday in Canada in 1879, but didn’t receive a fixed date until 1957.

In Canada, Thanksgiving started out as a religious holiday, with Protestants receiving an official day to thank God for bountiful harvests.

Canadians also took the opportunity to be thankful for having been spared from involvement from the Civil War that brought so much bloodshed to the US.

With Canada about to separate from the British Empire, there was need to create a national identity. Some thought that a Protestant national holiday would help in that regard.

The religious aspect of the holiday started to fade, as more Canadians started to look for more reasons to celebrate the holiday.

Today, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving with a long weekend, spent in the company friends and family.

PS. While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many families to cancel big family gatherings, many Canadians still managed to find ways to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in meaningful ways.

MORE ABOUT CANADIAN THANKSGIVING

Learn all about the Canadian holiday called Thanksgiving, and why we don’t mind our friends south of the border being such copycats.

One of the fun things to do when you move to Canada is to learn about Canadian customs and traditions. Some are familiar (because of our history with the United States), others, not so much. Thanksgiving is one such holiday.

Today, we’ll be talking about Canadian Thanksgiving (or, in Canada, just “Thanksgiving”). Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in Canada, and is celebrated every second Monday of October. It’s not on the same date as the Thanksgiving in the States.

Canadians celebrate the Thanksgiving long weekend by spending time with friends and family, having a nice turkey dinner (or perhaps a pumpkin spice latte from Tim Hortons) and basically just enjoying the last holiday before Christmas. It’s a pretty big thing in Canada, where you’ll see people making big plans to travel and join their family members for the weekend. School’s out, so the kids will be at home. Don’t forget to do your groceries and any errands beforehand, as government offices and groceries will be closed.

It is worthwhile to note that Thanksgiving was originally a Canadian holiday. In 1578, British explorer Martin Frobisher held a ceremony after months at sea. Back then, it wasn’t easy to make such at trip (having to deal with Kraken, scurvy and the like), so he thought it would be prudent to be thankful for having survived the trip (he made the trip two more times). Canadians have been celebrating the holiday ever since.

It wasn’t until 1621 when the Americans thought they should celebrate, too (Although they were almost 43 years late to the party). Being Canadians, we don’t mind. Everyone’s welcome!.

So there you have it, a brief history of Thanksgiving (it’s Canadian). Don’t go greeting relatives and friends south of the border “Happy Thanksgiving”, they’ll just think you’re weird. But go ahead, embrace being Canadian, eat a lot of turkey and stuffing. Wish the rest of the world a very Happy Thanksgiving!


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