Today, Thanksgiving in Canada is often blended with its American neighbor – families getting together for a delicious turkey dinner, giving thanks, and watching some football. The two holidays celebrate a bountiful harvest but that is not always the case. There are lots of Canadian Thanksgiving facts that even Canadians don’t know. So what is that? Scroll down to learn more!

Canadian Thanksgiving Facts
Here’re 15 Canadian Thanksgiving facts you may not know

15 Fun Canadian Thanksgiving Facts

Although there are many similarities between Thanksgiving in Canada and in America, Canadian Thanksgiving has a distinct identity. Here are 15 surprising Canadian Thanksgiving facts that prove their Thanksgiving is truly unique:

  1. Quebec calls Thanksgiving “Action de grâce.”
  2. We’ve been celebrating Thanksgiving in Canada for 140 years, starting on November 6, 1879.
  3. Before 1957, Canada celebrated Thanksgiving on the third Monday of October. It officially moved to the second Monday of October through an announcement on January 31, 1957, by the Governor-General of Canada.
  4. Americans celebrate their Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November.
  5. It was originally celebrated as a day of thanksgiving for the blessing of the crops and of the previous year.
  6. Canada’s first Thanksgiving is believed to have originated in 1578 with explorer Martin Frobisher. He tried to find a northern passage to the Pacific and celebrated Thanksgiving, not for the harvest but to give thanks for surviving the long journey from England through the perils of storms and icebergs. During his final voyage to the far north, Frobisher held a solemn ceremony at Frobisher Bay in Baffin Island (present-day Nunavut) to give thanks to God and in a ceremony served by missionary Robert Wolfall, they celebrated Holy Communion.
  7. In addition, some say that the origin of Thanksgiving in Canada sometimes goes back to French settlers who arrived in New France with the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who celebrated their successful harvest. The French settlers in the area often held parties at the end of the harvest season and continued throughout the winter, even sharing food with the indigenous people of the area.
  8. “Traditional” Thanksgiving-related foods, such as North American turkeys, squash, and pumpkins, were introduced to the residents of Halifax in the 1750s by United Empire Loyalists.
  9. Although Thanksgiving falls on a Monday, many families dine and gather on Sunday.
  10. While pumpkins are a Thanksgiving staple for Americans as well as Canadians, they are also rooted with indigenous people and it’s uncertain whether they appeared in the first meals of Thanksgiving or not. However, some known pumpkin pie recipes date back to the 1650s.
  11. With the exception of the Atlantic provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, Thanksgiving is now a statutory holiday in most Canadian jurisdictions.
  12. Thanksgiving Day in Canada and Columbus Day in the United States have been around the same time since 1971.
  13. The cornucopia, also known as the horn of abundance, symbolizes plenty and nourishment. It is especially linked with Thanksgiving Day in North America.
  14. Canadians bought 2.2 million whole turkeys for Thanksgiving 2015, 35% of all whole turkeys sold for the year.
  15. In 2018, 28% of all Canadian households (about 4.6 million people) bought turkey and turkey products for Thanksgiving.

Sum it up

Above we have compiled interesting information about Thanksgiving for you to read and share. Make your Thanksgiving dinner more enjoyable with these fun Canadian Thanksgiving facts. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

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