7 Things You Should Know About Canadian Thanksgiving

By Farrah Shaikh |
FWX CANADIAN THANKSGIVING

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There are a lot of misunderstandings about Canada. No, we don't all live in a hollowed-out moose that we hunted; yes, we do say 'sorry' excessively; no, we don't all love Avril Lavigne; and yes, the bathroom is called the washroom.

If you have any canuck friends of your own, you may have noticed another specifically Canadian item dominating your Facebook feeds: Canadian Thanksgiving. As a Canadian who has been in the States for years, I am still surprised when Americans don’t realize that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving as well.

So, get to know your northern neighbor with this quick 101 about Canadian Thanksgiving.

1. The first Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1578, when English explorer Martin Frobisher celebrated his fleet's safe return after attempting to find the Northwest Passage. That’s about 43 years earlier than the pilgrims celebrated. The feasts continued when explorer Samuel de Champlain held massive meals with the First Nations.

2. It became a national holiday in 1879 and since 1957 is officially celebrated on the second Monday in October. That's right, not a Thursday. This means that there is no Black Friday in Canada. They leave that to the day after Christmas and call it Boxing Day.

3. Not everybody gets the day off. Thanksgiving is not a mandatory work holiday throughout the entire county. It is optional in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and New Brunswick.

4. It happens earlier than American Thanksgiving because of an earlier harvest season owing to the cooler climate.

5. The eating of turkey supposedly came to Canada from Americans making the move north after the American Revolution.

6. The actual celebration is very similar to American Thanksgiving: a big feast, time with family and friends, and football…Canadian football (yes, Canada has football too).

7. The food is similar as well. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, squash, corn and yams. But those marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes are more for you Yanks.

Today families and friends all across Canada are sitting down to a massive feast and giving thanks. I, however, am at work, eating salad at my desk, but I am thankful for Ryan Reynolds.

Related: Never Had Canada's Favorite Potato Chip? Now's Your Chance to Try It
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