Canadian Thanksgiving

The 2nd Monday in October is Canadian Thanksgiving!


How is that? You may ask… Canadians didn’t have pilgrims!? That’s what confused me when I first heard about Canadian Thanksgiving. Canadian Thanksgiving isn’t about remembering the Pilgrims, it is simply a holiday giving thanks to God for a bountiful harvest.

Martin Frobisher

“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….

Frobisher’s dangerous journery

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

American Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks, but also remembering the Pilgrims who celebrated the “First Thanksgiving” in the United States in 1621.

Eventually in 1879, Parliament declared November 6th a day of Thanksgiving and a national holiday. Canadian Thanksgiving kept colliding with Remembrance Day, so finally, on January 31st, 1957, 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.’

One of the reasons for “Canadian Thanksgiving arriving earlier than its American counterpart is that Canada is geographically further north than the United States, causing the Canadian harvest season to arrive earlier than the American harvest season. And since Thanksgiving for Canadians is more about giving thanks for the harvest season than the arrival of pilgrims, it makes sense to celebrate the holiday in October.” KidzWorld

So today, we give thanks to God for all He has provided us with! We are so blessed to live in a country where food is abundant and available to all.

What are you thankful for today?


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