My research caused a few giggles and a few eye rolls (mainly over the stereotypes that all Canadians are drunks – which we are NOT!)
As per the Americanadian’s Guide to Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving.
1. The first obvious difference is the time it is held. Canada holds their Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October, while in the USA; it’s held the fourth Thursday of November.
2. The first official documented Thanksgiving was held in Canada in 1578, but it wasn’t held annually until 1879. On the other side of the border, the first Thanksgiving was held in 1621 and celebrated annually in 1863.
3. According to the Guide, the Canadians hold their Thanksgiving to reflect on all the things that they are thankful for in the past year, for the upcoming year and another year of successful harvests. The Americans celebrate Thanksgiving to give thanks to God for helping the Pilgrims of Plymouth of surviving their first brutal winter in New England.
4. Both sides celebrate with family, food and football. Apparently the norm is turkey, ham, stuffing and all the fattening fixings that we cannot consume on a daily basis. My favourite is pumpkin pie.
5. As for the football, the Canadian Football League (CFL) holds a double-header of games and the National Football League (NFL) a series of games. Both calling the featured games, “Thanksgiving Classics”. I personally love both Thanksgivings as my husband and I plunk our butts in front of the television set to watch as much football as possible.
While there are a definite differences and similarities to how and when Thanksgiving is held, I think that both sides teach us that we should be celebrating a little Thanksgiving everyday of our lives (maybe not so much with the over indulging of the food and football), but taking a moment everyday to give thanks for the opportunity to breathe, see the sun rise and listen to the sounds of birds. In some small way give thanks each day and make each day a Thanksgiving Day of a successful harvest of your celebration of life.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone both sides of the border!