Ready for Thanksgiving? Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving and the origins of the celebration are a little different up north.
Thanksgiving in Canada recognizes a few things. First – and similar to the U.S. holiday – Thanksgiving in Canada is meant to celebrate the autumn harvest. It is also remembered in association to explorer Martin Frobisher when Frobisher and his team all gave thanks for their well-being after completing a difficult mission, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia. Finally, the holiday is also tied to the end of the Seven Years’ War of 1763.
Today, many families celebrate the same traditions observed in the U.S. for Thanksgiving, including a turkey dinner with seasonal vegetables. Canadians are given the day off and many businesses are closed, as well.
Still a little shaky on your history and Canadian Thanksgiving trivia? Here are eight quick facts about the holiday.
- In the 1750s, Thanksgiving was first introduced in Nova Scotia when Halifax citizens celebrated the end of the Seven Years’ War with a feast.
- Parliament declared that Nov. 6 would be Thanksgiving in 1879. It has been celebrated annually since then.
- The holiday was moved to be celebrated the third Monday of every October. Parliament later proclaimed that the new date be moved to the second Monday of October in 1957.
- Both Canada and the U.S. are similar in how the countries celebrate the holiday in that families gather together for a meal to celebrate an abundant harvest.
- Similar to the U.S., one of the most popular symbols is the cornucopia.
- Martin Frobisher, an explorer, held his own day of thanks after surviving a journey where he set out to discover a northern passage from Europe to Asia in 1578.
- Originally, Armistice Day and Thanksgiving Day were observed on the same day, both on the Monday closest to Nov. 11, according to Time and Date.
- Turkey meals and football are still the common hallmark events to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving.