Saturday, October 07, 2006

Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend

In Canada Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and settling in the New World, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest. The harvest season falls earlier in Canada compared to the United States due to the simple fact that Canada is further north.

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did not succeed but he did establish a settlement in Northern America. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now called Newfoundland, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving. Other settlers arrived and continued these ceremonies. He was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him - Frobisher Bay.

At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, also held huge feasts of thanks. They even formed 'The Order of Good Cheer' and gladly shared their food with their Indian neighbours. After the Seven Year's War ended in 1763, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving.

During the American Revolution, Loyalist Americans moved to Canada where they brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving. There are many similarities between the two Thanksgivings such as the cornucopia and the pumpkin pie.

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.


  1. Thanks for this history lesson! xo

  2. this was so interesting! wouldn't it be wonderful to belong to something called 'The Order of Good Cheer'? It actually sounds like what the blogger world should be called! Happy Thanksgiving!
    art work, fantastic as always!!

  3. Wow, I had no idea but I learned something new. Very cool!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I hope you are making big birthday plans :)

  4. thankyou for sharing the history, it is always good to read about times past. We don't celebrate thanksgiving at all down here - but I will wish you a very happy thanksgiving xox
    love your painting of course!

  5. What a lovely painting, the wreath and the tilt of her hand! Wonderful style Colette!


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