As we’re getting deeper into the semester and getting more and more busy with school, it’s a great relief to get a long weekend! To celebrate, many Canadian families will be gathering together and preparing a large meal, along with other fall family activities.
However, unlike American Thanksgiving, which has historical roots that date back to the 17th century, the Canadian Thanksgiving tradition is a bit more scattered. There were various historical feasts by European colonizers, but the government of Canada didn’t make Thanksgiving an official holiday until 1879.
Many of the Canadian Thanksgiving culinary traditions that are similar to the ones in the U.S. were brought over by Americans who moved to Canada during the American Revolution. This includes turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.
Americans are often confused about why Canadian Thanksgiving is a month earlier than their celebration. Thanksgiving is a harvest festival—because Canada is farther north, we generally harvest our food earlier than our southern neighbours, which is why we have our Thanksgiving in October, not November.
Asides from preparing a big meal, many Canadian families will also celebrate Thanksgiving by going on a nearby weekend getaway or camping trip before the weather gets too cold!
Whether or not you have a big meal, do some special activities, or even just take the extra day to catch up on homework, it’s always good to take a moment to reflect upon what you’re thankful!