| OVERVIEW OF CANADIAN THANKSGIVING|
In Canada, where the harvest generally ends earlier in the year, the holiday is celebrated on the second Monday in October, which is observed as Columbus Day in the United States.
In Canada, Thanksgiving is only a three-day weekend, and the holiday is not as important as in the US. Because of the shortened break, there is far less travel during Canada's Thanksgiving and it is far harder for families to come together. As a result, Christmas is therefore the more family oriented of the two holidays. Additionally, while the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians might eat their Thanksgiving meal on any day of that three day weekend. This often means celebrating a meal with one group of relatives on one day, and another meal with a different group of relatives on another day. In addition, the early date means the weather is generally warm enough in many regions that it is completely ignored and becomes a day of recreation or going to the cottage as opposed to a family gathering.
HISTORY OF CANADIAN THANKSGIVING
Canadians trace the holiday to a feast held by Martin Frobisher in Newfoundland in 1578. It is also probable that American loyalists who emigrated to Canada after American independence brought with them many of their Thanksgiving traditions.
The Thanksgiving celebration was held occasionally in English areas of British North America in the eighteenth century, especially in Nova Scotia. The holiday rose to much greater prominence with the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution. The holiday became entrenched in English Canadian society. It is however little celebrated in French-speaking Quebec, but the official holiday also applies there.
The first official Canadian Thanksgiving Day was celebrated on April 5, 1872 in gratitude for the Prince of Wales' recovery from serious illness. The holiday was not officially recognized again till 1879, when parliament declared Thanksgiving to be an annual national secular holiday. The date was moved several times, finally being set on its current date (the second Monday in October) in 1957. For much of the period before 1957 parliament proclaimed the date annually.
CANADIAN THANKSGIVING TRIVIA
Canadian football is often a major part of the Thanksgiving celebrations much like it is in the U.S. Traditionally in both Canada and the U.S., two professional games are played on Thanksgiving Day.
A Thanksgiving dinner in Canada might feature turkey, mashed potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, wine and other beverages.