Did you know that Canadian Thanksgiving is right around the corner? Yup, that’s right. So what better time than to learn how these neighboring nations—who share a language, a border, and many of the same traditions—have such a different relationship with Thanksgiving. Read on to find out why… and then quiz your friends!
1. The ‘same’ holiday is celebrated over a month apart. While American Thanksgiving occurs on the last Thursday of November, its Canadian counterpart is happening… this coming Monday! That’s right, Canadian Thanksgiving takes place on the second Monday of October, resulting in a good month and a half difference between what is essentially the same holiday—or is it?
2. Well, no. Black Friday is unique to the States. While Canadians are staying in, spending time with family, and eating up a storm, Americans are storming department stores! Black Friday is known for being the craziest shopping day of the year because of sales that can’t be beat, hour-long lineups beginning before sunrise, and even a few friendly battles in the aisles. 😉
3. Americans remember the pilgrims; Canadians celebrate the harvest—probably the main reason why these two holidays fall at such different times. We all know Canada is c-c-c-cold, so fall veggies are ready to be harvested much earlier than those in the USA. And while Americans remember the pilgrims’ role in the history of their country, this same group isn’t given much of a mention in Canadian history books. For the Canucks, it’s more about eating all those veggies before the first frost!
4. Many Americans get four days off, while most Canadians only get three. Because Americans give thanks on a Thursday, many are lucky to get the last two days of the week off, meaning a nice long four-day weekend for students and workers alike. Canadians, on the other hand, celebrate on a Monday so they have to stuff all the fun—and food—into a shorter three-day holiday.
5. Thanksgiving was started in Canada!? It all began in 1578 in what is now Newfoundland, and was adopted by the Americans 43 years later. Does it matter that Canada didn’t officially become a country until 1867? Sure, if we were going to be sticklers about it. But in the spirit of the holiday, let’s show our gratitude to the good ol’ Canucks for starting such a wonderful tradition. 😉
Of course, on both sides of the border, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie and…well… giving thanks! So whether you’re American or Canadian, we’d like to say a great big thanks for simply being you!
Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!