Canadian Thanksgiving - Wilderness North

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Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving: How it compares to America’s holiday

As American’s geared up for their annual Thanksgiving feast, Canadians looked back on theirs, as the celebration of gratitude held in October.

Typically, Canadian Thanksgiving is held during the second weekend of October, aligning with the American Indigenous Peoples Day holiday.

But instead of feasting on a Thursday, Canadians celebrate on a Monday. Aside from celebrating the “day of thanks” on a different day, there are several other distinctions between American and Canadian Thanksgiving.


The “first” Canadian Thanksgiving was in 1578 when an English explorer namedMartin Frobisher held the first celebration after making a safe return from the Northwest Passage. Others argue that the first “Thanksgiving” was held by indigenous peoples as they typically gave thanks for good harvests in the fall.


Thanksgiving was formalized as a national holiday in 1879. This holiday is celebrated on a national scale, but it is considered more “low-key” than American Thanksgiving. It is a day focused on spending time with family and friends. Some citizens, particularly in Quebec, choose not to celebrate at all. It is also not followed by a day of shopping, like the American Black Friday.


However, expect a feast of food.

For example, the centerpiece on the Thanksgiving table may still be a turkey, glazed with maple syrup or apple cider. You may also find  ham or smoked salmon. For the sides, classics include brussels sprouts, maple glazed carrots, creamed corn, poutine, cranberry sauce, or sweet potato dinner rolls.  And not to forget about dessert: its Canadian  classic butter tarts. (A small pastry that consists of butter, sugar filling.)

But what about FIDO?

The simple answer is dogs can eat many Thanksgiving foods including turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and peas, but you should be sure to skip the turkey skin, stuffing and other dishes that you are serving to humans.

Football and Parades

On Thanksgiving Monday,(the second Monday of each October) many watch the Canadian Football League’s Thanksgiving Day Classic and enjoy the day off from work.

Canadians all over the country enjoy watching the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest parade on their Thanksgiving Day. Like Macy’s, this parade has floats, balloons, and marching bands, but instead of Garfield and Underdog, this parade has uniquely Canadian icons.


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