As this is the second Monday in October, I would like to wish everyone in Canada a Happy Thanksgiving.
Let’s discuss the history of Thanksgiving in Canada:
- Thanksgiving was declared as an official holiday in Canada in 1879.
- Until 1957 it was celebrated at different times, starting in November.
- Most provinces, and the Federal Government, have legislated the day as a statutory holiday.
- The only provinces that do no recognize Thanksgiving as an official holiday are the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), News Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
- The first recorded mention of Thanksgiving was in 1578 to mark Martin Frobisher’s attempt to find the Northwest passage.
- Halifax celebrated a day of Thanksgiving in 1763 to celebrate Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War.
- During the American Revolution, many Loyalists brought the more “American” traditions with them, including eating turkey, pumpkin, and squash.
- The first Thanksgiving day in Canada after Confederation was in 1872 to honour the Prince of Wales who had recovered from a recent illness. The Prince would later become King Edward VII.
- In 1957, Parliament set the date for Thanksgiving as the second Monday in October.
- Thanksgiving is generally celebrated to be thankful for an abundant harvest, although more recently it is also a day to be thankful of other important events.
- The Canadian Football League (C.F.L.) traditionally holds a double header on Thanksgiving, with both games being day games (compared to taking place in the evening.)
So let’s be thankful for a great year and that we live in such a wonderful country. And Happy Thanksgiving everyone.