Thanksgiving Thanksgiving

When is Thanksgiving in Canada? 6 Facts

It is always great to have one day in a year where you appreciate everything that happened to you in the past year. That’s why to appreciate and feel blessed about the life one has, a day is celebrated to remind everything to feel blessed. The day is called Thanksgiving Day, which is celebrated as a national holiday around the world. When is Thanksgiving in Canada has a backstory with lots of interesting facts to learn.

When is Thanksgiving in Canada
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1. When Is Thanksgiving In Canada:

The annual Canadian holiday which is Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day is held on the second Monday of October to celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the previous year. Thanksgiving in Canada is also known as Canadian Thanksgiving to make a difference from the American Thanksgiving.

The official celebration of Thanksgiving as an annual holiday in Canada started on November 6, 1879. Since the date varied every year and was not fixed so it commonly happens on the second Monday in October.

The Governor-General of Canada, Vincent Massey issued a declaration stating: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed to be observed on the second Monday in October.

10 Amazing Facts About Thanksgiving in Canada You Should Know!

2. Canadian Thanksgiving:

Martin Frobisher from England of 1579 voyage which is recognized as the period when the first celebration of Thanksgiving occurred in North America when he was in the search of northern passage. His third voyage to the Frobisher Bay of Baffin Island in the present Canadian Territory of Nunavut with the intention of starting a small settlement.

The history of Canadian Thanksgiving goes as during and after the American Revolution, the Americans fled away from the newly independent United States to Canada. They brought all the customs and practices of American Thanksgiving to Canada such as pumpkin, mashed potatoes, and turkey.

After the civil war, the first thanksgiving day was observed as a civil holiday on April 5, 1872, to celebrate the recovery of Prince Wales from a serious illness. For many years, before it was declared as a national holiday in 1879, thanksgiving was celebrated in either late October or early November. But from 1879 onwards thanksgiving day has been observed every year, at first the date was initially a Thursday in November.

After World War I, the amendments of the Armistice Act established Armistice Day and after 10 years, in 1931 the two holidays became separate days and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day. In 1957 the parliament fixed thanksgiving as the second Monday in October.

Every year, the theme of thanksgiving changed to reflect the important event to be thankful for. In the early years, it is mostly for the abundant harvest and special anniversary.

3. Statutory Holiday:

Statutory or public holidays consist of a variety of cultural, nationalistic, and religious holidays of Canada. The thanksgiving holiday is recognized as a worldwide national holiday or official statutory holiday. The workers of public or private are given a day off with a regular pay of that holiday.

The thanksgiving holiday in most of Canada is an optional holiday in the Atlantic provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Companies that are regulated by the federal government, recognize the holidays everywhere.

4. Thanksgiving Holiday:

The first Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated in North America when Martin Frobisher, an English explorer of England arrived in Newfoundland in 1578 and thanked the New World for his safe arrival. The actual Thanksgiving is on Monday, the Canadians gather for the Thanksgiving meal any day during the long weekend.

The best part of the happy Thanksgiving day is the meal which is a tradition around the world where some particular food is made. The traditional foods of thanksgiving are roast turkey, roast beef, ham, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and apple pie. The special meal of the thanksgiving holiday is the turkey dinner that is mandatory during this public holiday.

In Canada, football is a televised doubleheader for the Canadian Football League which is broadcast nationwide held mostly as a national tradition called as Thanksgiving Day Classic. Usually, the league is played for one or two weeks on Monday afternoons.

Events are held around the communities of Canada during the week or on the holiday. Different fairs and harvest festival as it is the harvest season is very popular to see during the thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving in Canada is taken very seriously among the Canadian people and the preparation begins very early October according to the Canadian calendar.

American Thanksgiving
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5. American Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving in America is a national annual holiday that the Americans celebrate on the fourth Thursday for the blessings and bountiful harvest of the previous year. To make a difference from the Canadian holiday the Americans called it American Thanksgiving.

It originated as a harvest festival but the American counterpart of thanksgiving is the thanksgiving meal which is a big tradition. In American Culture the thanksgiving period starts from the beginning of the fall-winter holiday season which is around Christmas and New Year. The first American Thanksgiving was the holiday feast dated back in the year 1621, November.

The Plymouth and the Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn harvest feast which is known as the first Thanksgiving celebration. The date varies between the American and Canadian Thanksgiving holidays; the first celebrate them on the fourth of November and the latter celebrates them on the early October of Monday, though it is celebrated on a different date but in the same way.

Pumpkin Pie
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6. Pumpkin Pie:

Canadian Thanksgiving is incomplete without the most famous dessert of Thanksgiving and that is Pumpkin Pie. During the public holiday, many families put in a lot of effort while making the pie. October is all about the pumpkin so it is mandatory to have a dessert with it.

The pie is a spice, pumpkin-based custard filling from other types of squash. The pumpkin is the symbol of the harvest season. The color of the pie filling ranges in color from orange to brown and is baked in a single pie shell rarely with a top crust. The top is garnished with spices like nutmeg, ginger powder, and cinnamon which is called pumpkin pie spice.

The dessert is mostly served with bite-sized pastry shells and food like split pea pudding and boiled meat dish which is a ritual given in the Canadian encyclopedia as the traditions of the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday.

Final Note

The month of October is a cultural holiday for Canadians. The whole holiday of thanksgiving is spent on the chaotic preparation of different foods, desserts, and drinks. The get-together of the families for holiday makes the atmosphere very homey and enjoyable.

The Thanksgiving holiday is a vibe everyone enjoys to the fullest of their heart and stomach. It’s important to know the meaning and when thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated.

Last Updated on by somya909


  • Maryam P

    Maryam Patel is a third-year student. She got a passion for writing which started evolving from almost three years now. She has written articles related to travel, food and other explorations in Canada. With the thirst to discover and research about countries and history related, her articles is a suit-worthy for your travel guide.

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