Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated annually in Canada on the second Monday of October. This holiday was created to honor the harvest season and the people, families and friends Canadians are grateful to have in their lives. In 2022, Thanksgiving will fall on October 10.
All financial exchanges in Canada, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange and Montréal Exchange, are currently closed for the day.
The festival is not tied to Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day in the United States, both of which coincidentally fall on the same day this year. Instead, it is only celebrated in Canada.
Thanksgiving in Canada has its history, which is more closely related to European traditions and the traditions of the indigenous people of Canada. Although some aspects of Canadian Thanksgiving are influenced by Thanksgiving in the United States, such as the traditional foods that are served, Thanksgiving in Canada has its own history.
Here are five fun facts about Thanksgiving in Canada:
- The celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada dates back to before the arrival of European settlers. Many people in Canada know that the indigenous people who once inhabited Turtle Island, which is now known as North America, observed rituals of thanks as a means of reward for the laborious process of gathering crops and wild animals.
- The first celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada was held in Newfoundland, Canada, in 1578. This was 43 years before the first celebration of Thanksgiving in the United States. In the years that followed, beginning in 1606, the French colonists and the native Mi’kmaq held feasts together.
- In 1879, an official proclamation was made for the holiday and it was decided that it would always be celebrated on November 6. After World War I, the date of Thanksgiving was moved to the second Monday in October. This was done to prevent the holiday from ever falling on the same day as Remembrance Day, which is celebrated on November 11 to honor and remember Canada’s armed forces.
- Although Thanksgiving always falls on a Monday, Canadians celebrate the holiday with their families and friends throughout the long weekend or over one day, enjoying traditional meals such as turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, corn, yams, stuffing and pies. The official Thanksgiving holiday always falls on a Monday. In addition to turkey dinners, ham and roast beef dishes are sometimes prepared.
- Thanksgiving is not a legally recognized public holiday in any of the Atlantic provinces, including Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Labrador, New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, despite the fact that the majority of Canadians observe the holiday as a legal holiday.