13 October 2014

Happy Thanksgiving...Love, Canada


Ah, yes...it's that time of year when most of the leaves are off the trees, the weather is turning much cooler and school is back in session for the majority of the students in the area.  That also means it's time for one of my favourite holidays...Thanksgiving!

As an American living in Canada, I feel lucky that I get to celebrate not one, but TWO Thanksgiving holidays in a year.  I just love it...the gathering of people you love, some great food you don't make every day of the year and just time to reflect on how lucky we truly are in this life.

This Thanksgiving, we were fortunate enough to be invited over to the home of our friends, K and M.    We had a good time catching up, playing games (I finally learned what all the hype over the game Settlers is about) and noshing on some great food!  We brought over a salad, this fantastic vegan pumpkin loaf and a vegan stuffing inspired by this recipe.  

In addition, Dave and I took some time this weekend to volunteer over at Winnipeg Harvest for their annual Share the Thanks event.  We sorted cans and boxes of food and bagged up "food kits" for distribution.  We met some great people and it was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday.

Because I will be in Bali for the U.S. Thanksgiving, I really wanted to make the most of the holiday here in Canada...and we did!

Here are a few observations about Canadian and U.S. Thanksgivings...

  • Thanksgiving in French is L'Action de grĂ¢ce.  
  • There are four provinces where Thanksgiving is an optional holiday, not a statutory one...New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador
  • There are parades
  • The first Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1578 with Sir Martin Frobisher's voyage to the Northwest Passage
  • It wasn't until 1957 that Thanksgiving was given an official day of the second Monday in October.  Prior to that, the day for Thanksgiving was flexible
  • There is turkey, squash, pumpkin and all the fixings that go along with the Thanksgiving dinner
  • There doesn't seem to be a strong connection between Thanksgiving and the kick-off of the "holiday season" as there is in the United States
  • There is football
United States
  • Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November
  • In 1863, it became a federal holiday
  • The first Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1621 after the first harvest of Pilgrims in the New World
  • There are parades
  • There is football
  • It wasn't until 1939, with pressure from the President and department stores (including Macy's) that Thanksgiving was officially moved to the fourth Thursday of November in order to expand the Christmas shopping season
  • There is turkey, squash, pumpkin and all the fixings that go along with the Thanksgiving dinner
  • A turkey is pardoned by the President
If you are in Canada or in the United States...or anywhere in the world for that matter, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  

No comments: