“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”. (January 31, 1957, Parliament of Canada)
Canadian Thanksgiving, one of the most famous holidays and not to be confused with the U.S. American version is celebrated at the second Monday in October. It is similar to the English and European Harvest festival, symbolizing people’s gratitude for everything given by nature or God that sustains them.
While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians may gather for their Thanksgiving feast on any day during the long weekend. Thanksgiving in Canada is also often a time for weekend getaways.
The traditional dish for the Thanksgiving dinner is roasted turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. Watching football on TV is also a part of the modern tradition for many Canadians.
Becoming a statutory (public) holiday in 1957, Thanksgiving goes back much further than that. Besides being linked to the before mentioned European traditions, it is also a way to remember the English explorer Martin Frobisher and his search for the Northwest Passage in 1578. As it was common in those times, his journey was a difficult one; made hard and exhausting by severe weather and ice. So when Frobisher and his crew arrived in Frobisher’s Bay, they celebrated the first ceremonial Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving being a public holiday means that all government institutions are closed and also most liquor stores. Most other stores are open, though. And if you want to visit some of Vancouver’s attractions, you can check out here, which of them will be open today.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!