- It is usually celebrated on the second Monday of October. However, the celebrations begin from the Saturday, Sunday, and continue on to Monday — thus the Thanksgiving long weekend.
The Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1578. During the third expedition of Martin Frobisher — an English seaman and privateer (licensed pirate) who made three voyages to the New World to look for the Northwest Passage, however all landed in northeastern Canada — he lost one of his ships, so when he landed in the Frobisher Bay area of Baffin Island in the present Canadian Territory of Nunavut, he held a big celebration to give thanks for his safe passage.
- The Harvest season is earlier in Canada than in the USA, this may be why Canadian Thanksgiving is held in early October.
- Another theory for where Canadian Thanksgiving came from is the French settlers who came in the early 17th century and celebrated their harvests in New France every year.
- Canadians also serve turkey for Thanksgiving. It is claimed that after the American Revolution, many British loyalists fled to Canada and brought the custom with them.
- Canadians leave the marshmallows out of the Thanksgiving feast. While most of the food served at Canadian Thanksgiving is the same as American Thanksgiving dinner— turkey, stuffing, potatoes, squash — Canadians don’t do the whole marshmallow-and-sweet-potato thing.
- There used to be some awkward religious undertones associated with Canadian Thanksgiving, according to David O’Brien of Winnipeg Free Press, “Thanksgiving was originally a religious holiday in Canada. Thanksgiving celebrations were pretty sporadic and unofficial at first, so a Protestant clergyman took it upon himself to establish some modern traditions, according to historian Peter Stevens. But the Protestants ended up excluding the Catholics and other minorities in Canada. At one point, the government even held the holiday on a day when Catholics were meant to be fasting to make sure they couldn’t celebrate it, according to Stevens.”
- There is no Black Friday (Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States) in Canada. After having their feast of turkey and other foods, Canadians normally stay home; they don’t head to the shops to wait in Black Friday lines, to get super shopping discounts.