A Belated Happy Thanksgiving!
A little primer on the holiday. Since
1957, Canada has observed the annual celebration on the second Monday in
October, coinciding with Columbus Day in the US since 1971.
The origins of the American
traditions taking place in Canada can be traced to refugees from the US, loyal
to the Crown, who fled to Canada after the American Revolution. Starting in
1879, when it became a national holiday, Thanksgiving was held every year, but
on a rotating schedule with different themes. For a number of years the theme
was "Blessings of an abundant harvest." Following the first World War through
1930, Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday nearest to
November 11th, the anniversary of the official end of the war. In 1931,
Armistice Day was christened Remembrance Day and Thanksgiving was moved to the
More fun facts: in Quebec,
Thanksgiving, or Jour de l'Action de grâce, is held by the English-speaking
population but French Canadians generally refrain from doing anything.
And it is not a statutory holiday
in the Maritime provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador,
New Brunswich and Nova Scotia.
Shani R. Friedman, a native of
Nova Scotia, is a writer and editor living in New York who started a pop culture
and news blog about Canada three years ago. Visit Shani's Blog at http://allthingscanadian.blogspot.com/.