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Theydeserveit >> Thanks Giving Day >> Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving


The American tradition of Thanksgiving remembers the Pilgrims who settled in New World and their subsequent success in yielding enough in the harvest and surviving the onslaught of a harsh winter. The Canadians Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday of October and offer prayers for a successful harvest. Compared to United States the Canadian harvest season falls earlier because of it being situated further North.
Martin Frobisher, the English explorer was on his look out for the Northern passage to Orient. Though he was not successful he established a settlement in Northern America. It was in the year of 1578, he celebrated the survival of his long journey in Newfoundland. This was the first Canadian Thanksgiving. Settlers arrived and continued with the ceremony. He was later knighted. Frobisher Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada was named after him.

When Samuel de Champlain arrived in Canada with his French explorers, he held huge feasts of thanks. They formed an 'Order of Good Cheer' and willingly shared the feast with their Indian neighbors. The American Revolution brought in the Americans to Canada who were loyal to England. With them they also brought to Canada their customs and practices of American Thanksgiving. Cornucopia and the pumpkin pie were the two essential new inputs in their festivities.

Many dates were used for Thanksgiving over the years but the most popular was the 3rd Monday in October. Both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11th occurred, after World War I. Later in1931 the two days became separate holidays and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.

Finally, on January 31st, 1957, Parliament proclaimed...

"A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed ... to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October."

Main Attractions of Thanksgiving in Canada

On the Thanksgiving day, churches are decorated, with lightings, candles and flowers, and various cornucopias, pumpkins, corn and other harvest produces, and harvest hymns are sung by professional and co ordinated groups on the weekend prior to the main festival. There are also narration of the scriptural selections, conducted in the churches, taken from biblical stories , especially of harvest. People also take part in the traditional parade, known as Kitchener- Waterloo- Oktoberfest, which is also broadcasted on TV, and games such as football is also major attraction during the festival.

Though the festival is full of fun and zeal, the acknowledgment of the God's benevolence is the most dominant, and hence Thanksgiving maintains its true essence of thanking the lord.

Last Updated On : October 11, 2011