American Thanksgiving vs. Canadian Thanksgiving

I am Canadian and Canadians traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving dinner on the second Monday in October. This year it was 12th October. I was very happy when my American friends, Sue and Rick invited my hubby and I to their American Thanksgiving dinner in Italy. American Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. 

Now, often Americans and Canadians like to make fun of each other. It's part of our history living as geographic neighbours. So, when one of my friends sarcastically asked, why Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, I really couldn't say, other than, that we had settlers who came to Canada a few centuries ago, as they did in America, who befriended the natives (aboriginals) of Canada. So, this piqued my curiousity to obtain the actual facts. Here is the information for all of my friends and those of you interested in Thanksgiving holiday.  

The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are more closely connected to the traditions of Europe than of the United States. Long before Europeans settled in North America, festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in Europe in the month of October. The very first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England, arrived in Newfoundland in 1578. He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World. That means the first Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts!

Canadian Thanksgiving became an official holiday in 1879. For a few hundred years, Thanksgiving was celebrated in either late October or early November, before it was declared a national holiday in 1879. It was then, that November 6th was set aside as the official Thanksgiving holiday. But then on January 31st, 1957, Canadian Parliament announced that on the second Monday in October, Thanksgiving would be "a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed." Thanksgiving was moved to the second Monday in October because after the World Wars, Remembrance Day (November 11th) and Thanksgiving kept falling in the same week.

Another reason for Canadian Thanksgiving arriving earlier than its American counterpart is that Canada is geographically further north than the United States, causing the Canadian harvest season to arrive earlier than the American harvest season. And since Thanksgiving for Canadians is more about giving thanks for the harvest season than the arrival of pilgrims, it makes sense to celebrate the holiday in October. So what are the differences between Canadian and American Thanksgiving, other than the date? Not much! Both Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with parades, family gatherings, pumpkin pie and a whole lot of turkey!

Scroll over these links for more information on these and other North American Holidays.

Kudos to the Ewing family for doing a fabulous job on the Thanksgiving dinner! I think I counted a total number of 23 people eating turkey!!

Enjoying the wine, beer, spirits, pop, soda and other beverages in the foray. 
There was something for everyone!

Well organized tables for feeding the masses.

Seemingly happy people sweating and toiling in the kitchen. 

Rick cutting and slicing the turkey. 
Unfortunately, I was too busy drooling over the turkey that I forgot 
to take a proper photo of the turkey itself. 
One cannot have turkey dinner without cranberry sauce - yummmmmy!!!

NO, No, No, It's my turkey!! It's all mine!! :-)) 
(Yuki and Dave's beautiful children.)


  1. What a fun dinner!! Loved learning a little more about Canadian Thanksgiving! xo.

  2. I love to see Thanksgiving photos with all kinds of people involved in the preparation. Is it hard to find cranberry sauce in Italy?

    I once hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for a bunch of Italian students, and I remember them telling me they thought it was the "strangest" food they'd ever eaten.

    Did anyone at your party feel that way?


Post a Comment

Leave a LITTLE LOVE and JOY.
You're a STAR!

Popular Posts