Canadian Thanksgiving - a History

Monday, October 5, 2015

 

Thanksgiving is one of the holidays celebrated in both the United States and Canada but many might not know about the origins of thanksgiving, and the difference between thanksgiving in Canada and the United States.  
The Origins of Thanksgiving
In Canada, thanksgiving can be traced back to the English voyageur Martin Frobisher who was searching for the Northwest passage.  His fleet became separated in the many different storms that plagued them, and when they finally met up, they were thankful for meeting in Frobisher bay.  They celebrated communion and were thankful to God for surviving what they had been through.  It was deemed to be a huge feast of thanks.   In the United States, thanksgiving can trace it’s history to the pilgrims who would celebrate after harvesting their crops (and thus, have a feast).  
Now, in both Canada and the United States, thanksgiving is really considered to be a feast of a meal celebrating it with thanksgiving dinner.  
Is American Thanksgiving Different?
The United States version of Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November and lasts all the way to Sunday. It’s also celebrated later because the Canadian harvest season arrives earlier.  Aside from that, both Canadians and Americans enjoy the same menus, parades, festivals, traditions, and family gatherings that make this holiday unique. 
Now that you know the history of Thanksgiving in Canada and what makes it unique, make sure to give thanks and celebrate.

Although Thanksgiving is celebrated in both Canada and the United States, the holidays have different roots.   

 

 

 

 

 

The origin of Canadian Thanksgiving

In Canada, Thanksgiving can be traced back to the English voyageur Martin Frobisher who was searching for the Northwest Passage in 1578 (some 40 years before the Pilgrims celebrated the bounty of harvest).  The ships of Frobisher's fleet became separated in the severe weather that plagued them.  When they finally met up again in what is now Frobisher Bay, they were so thankful for surviving the ordeal that they observed communion and celebrated with a huge feast.  The first Thanksgiving celebration was born. The tradition carried forward in a haphazard fashion, being invoked for any number of reasons to give thanks over the years. By 1879, it became an annual event, usually celebrated in late October or early November, but it wasn't until 1957, that it became a national holiday.  

The celebration has taken on a more secular meaning today, where people of all creeds celebrate the blessings in their lives by feasting with family and friends.  

While Canadian Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated on the second Monday in October, the United States celebrates on the 4th Thursday of November (usually making a 4 day week-end).   Aside from the date, though, both Canadians and Americans enjoy the same menus, parades, festivals, traditions, and family gatherings that make the holdiday special. 

The Western Direct family would like to wish you and yours a very happy and abundant Thanksgiving.

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