A+ A A-

Three Ways Canadian Thanksgiving Differs From American Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

If you’re American and you love a good holiday dinner, the second weekend in October is prime time to head up to Canada. That’s because Thanksgiving celebrations are in full swing here, so you can enjoy turkey and stuffing not once, but twice–six weeks before American Thanksgiving. Score!

So what’s the difference between American and Canadian Thanksgiving? When I taught English in Japan years ago, my students were surprised to hear that there was a difference at all–but indeed, there is.

I freely admit that most of what I know about the U.S. celebration comes from American television and movies. However, I’ve celebrated many a Thanksgiving in Vancouver and can tell you how we do it based on a very scientific survey of People I Know.

Here are three basic differences.

marcusquigmirewikimediacommons

Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, not November–and it’s not about pilgrims

That’s right: Canadian Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October—October 13 this year—the same day as American Columbus Day. American Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November.

Why is that? Probably because Canada is farther north and the harvest comes earlier, so we celebrate it earlier.

In Feasting and Fasting: Canada’s Heritage Celebrations (Dundurn), Dorothy Duncan writes that Canadians had many different Thanksgiving celebrations before the official date was chosen by Parliament in 1957. Before any newcomers came to the land, the First Nations celebrated their crops. After that, thanksgiving celebrations were held to mark everything from explorer Martin Frobisher’s successful crossing of the Northwest Passage in 1578 to war victories to the recovery of the Price of Wales (later King Edward VII) from illness in 1872.

But as far as I know, the Canadian history of Thanksgiving has nothing to do with pilgrims and the Mayflower as does American Thanksgiving. Both holidays, however, are generally seen as an opportunity to give thanks for what’s good in our lives, celebrate nature’s bounty, and enjoy a big meal with family and friends.

While the Canadian holiday officially falls on Monday, celebrations can take place at any time over the weekend. The big meal is just as likely to happen on Sunday as it is on Monday.

turkeysalewhistler

Canadian Thanksgiving is not as strongly associated with shopping

In America, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is legendary: American news reports show how some shoppers go straight from their Thanksgiving celebrations to the mall the moment it opens.

That doesn’t happen for Canadian Thanksgiving. The holiday Monday means it’s a long weekend for many people, but shopping isn’t an essential part of it. Many stores operate on more limited hours on Thanksgiving Sunday and Monday.

Don’t get me wrong–there are plenty of sales and promotions that happen on Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. (Whistler Blackcomb’s Turkey Sale, which offers deals on ski and snowboard equipment, is a good example.)

But up here, our biggest shopping day of the year is Boxing Day—December 26, the day after Christmas. That’s when you’ll see line-ups outside electronic stores.

kitsbeachcarolynal

Canadian Thanksgiving is not as big a deal as American Thanksgiving

From what I can tell, Thanksgiving seems to be almost as significant a holiday as Christmas in the U.S. People fly across the country to visit family, and according to U.S. Bureau of Transport statistics, the number of long-distance trips increases by 54 percent over the six-day Thanksgiving period, while that increase is just 23 percent over the Christmas/New Year period.

Movies like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles add to the perception that people move mountains to celebrate with extended family over American Thanksgiving.

In Canada, of course, people also travel to be with loved ones over the Thanksgiving weekend. However, my perception is that fewer Canadians take time off work for long-distance travel. We stick closer to home on Thanksgiving than we do at the end of December—that’s when more people take extended time off for family visits.

Of course, Vancouverites love to make the most of a long weekend. Since the weather is often sunny and crisp, we go hiking, visit the farmers market, stroll along Kitsilano Beach, or meet for dim sum.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Credit: insidevancouver.ca

CrystalWind.ca is free to access and use.
"Please consider a small gift of $11.11 or $22.22 or $33.33
$44.44 or $55.55 or $77.77 or $88.88 or $111.11." 
ॐ Namasté - Blessings!
"Life is an echo, what you send out comes back."

© 2008-2020 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.

  Please buy us a coffee!
Pin It

Featured This Month

Page:

Bright Beltane Blessings!

Bright Beltane Blessings!

The wheel turns to Beltane, also known as Mayday, marking the beginning of S... Read more

Birth Totem - Wolf

Birth Totem - Wolf

Birth Totem Wolf Birth dates: February 19 - March 20 Birth Totem: Wolf Cl... Read more

Do you see 11:11?

Do you see 11:11?

11:11 Do you see it? For many years the numbers 11:11 have been mysteriousl... Read more

4 Lucky Stones For St. Patrick’s Day

4 Lucky Stones For St. Patrick’s Day

I always wake up on St. Patrick’s Day with a big, mischievous smile on my fa... Read more

Plantain

Plantain

Plantain Helps you feel grounded Gender: Feminine Planet: Venus Element: Ea... Read more

Beltane Celtic Style

Beltane Celtic Style

Simple ways to celebrate the feast-days of the Celtic Year. The Return of... Read more

Wolf Medicine

Wolf Medicine

Wolf is the pathfinder, the forerunner of new ideas who returns to the clan ... Read more

Pisces Mythology

Pisces Mythology

The Mythology of Pisces By most accounts, the mythology of Pisces follows a... Read more

Pisces

Pisces

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Spirit: Search for security Ego: Unrealistic, com... Read more

Spirit of Cougar

Spirit of Cougar

Spirit of Cougar Role: Leader Lesson: Proper Use of Power Element: Earth ... Read more

Big Winds Moon

Big Winds Moon

Cougar -  Turquoise -  Plantain -  Blue and Green February ... Read more

Fluorite

Fluorite

The Focus And Study Stone Fluorite helps to assimilate ideas and informatio... Read more

The Ash Tree - February 18 - March 17

The Ash Tree - February 18 - March 17

Celtic Symbol : The Trident Or Sea - Horse Zodiac Degrees : 28º00` Aquarius... Read more

Sun in Pisces

Sun in Pisces

Sun in Pisces February 22 through March 20 An Overview of Sun Sign Characte... Read more

St Patrick - Ireland's Patron Saint

St Patrick - Ireland's Patron Saint

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most wide... Read more

March 15 - The Ides of March - Should You Be…

March 15 - The Ides of March - Should You Beware?

Had it not been for events in ancient Rome, March 15th would be just another... Read more

History of St. Patrick

History of St. Patrick

Saint Patrick, The Apostle of Ireland, was born at what is now Kilpatrick, n... Read more

Aquamarine

Aquamarine

The Stone of Truth Aquamarine can provide a significant boost to the immune... Read more

St. Patrick

St. Patrick

True history and legend are intertwined when it comes to St. Patrick. It is ... Read more

Beltane

Beltane

Beltane Ritual Celebrated May 1st Beltane is also known as May Day, Walpurg... Read more

© 2008-2020 CrystalWind.ca. Site Creation by CreativeInceptions.com.
X

Right Click

No right click