Living Thanksgiving with Canadians: How to celebrate it ?

In Canada, Thanksgiving has been celebrated on the second Monday in October since 1957, although many people choose to feast on the weekend. It's a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes of the past year. Thanksgiving in Canada is not the same as Thanksgiving in the United States. Canadians have their own traditions and ways of celebrating Thanksgiving.

What is Thanksgiving in Canada?

Many people think that this holiday is just a Canadian version of the American Thanksgiving, but the Canadian celebration actually took place 40 years before the American Pilgrim's Dinner. In 1578, British explorer Martin Frobisher held a Thanksgiving feast in Newfoundland. Frobisher was grateful that he and most of his crew had returned from a difficult Arctic voyage in search of the Northwest Passage. After the storms and cold and getting lost, Frobisher was sorry he had not found the Passage but very happy to be alive. This meal was probably not too tasty. It was mostly salted beef and split peas, but he was grateful at first for the food they ate.

What do people do?

Many people have a day off on the second Monday in October. They often use the three-day Thanksgiving weekend to visit family members or friends who live far from home, or to receive them at home. Many people also prepare a special meal to eat on the long weekend. Traditionally, this has included roast turkey and seasonal items such as pumpkin, corn on the cob and pecans. Now the meal can be made up of other foods, especially if the family is of non-European descent. Thanksgiving in Canada is also a popular time to take a short fall vacation. Other popular activities include outdoor breaks to enjoy the spectacular colours of the Canadian fall, hiking and fishing. Fans of Canadian Football League teams can spend part of the weekend watching Thanksgiving Day games.

Is Thanksgiving Day a holiday?

Thanksgiving in Canada is a national holiday. Many people have the day off and all schools and post offices are closed. Many stores and other businesses and organizations are also closed. Public transportation services may have a reduced schedule.
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