Thanksgiving in Canada

Thanksgiving in 2020 is Monday, October 12.

Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday of October each year and it's an official statutory holiday - except in PEI, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia - however federally regulated institutions do observe Thanksgiving in those provinces too. In the US thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November.

The original idea is to give thanks for the past harvest season but for many Canadian families the tradition has changed over time and the focus is now to get together with family and eat a large turkey dinner. Apple cider is a must for any traditional thanksgiving celebration as well as turkey stuffing and pumpkin pie.

The first Thanksgiving holiday was held in Canada in 1872 to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales from a serious illness. After 1879 celebrations were held every year but not always in October - it used to be observed around Armistice Day in November.

At the Crawford Lake conservation area (Milton, ON) a path around the lake has pictures and short stories of native people and their celebrations. One of the stories is about thanksgiving; it starts with this sentence:

"Thanksgiving to native indians was a way of everyday life rather than a one-day celebration."

Take a few minutes to think about this quote. Thank you.

Back to the list of Canadian statutory holidays.



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What are your plans for the thanksgiving long weekend? What did you do last year? What are you favourite activities in October? Do you have any comments or ideas related to thanksgiving in Canada?

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Recent comments
Posted by Brian:

if we work that day in ontario of agriculture, how should they pay us?

Posted by Jay:

Lmao Bill, that post is so damn whiny you legit sounds like how all Albertans sound most of the time! By far the most embarrassing and Anti-Canadian province in the country, itís stuck so far in the past from politically to economically and every way in between!

Posted by Bill E Bob:

I am thankful for my white male privilege which means I get the privilege of working more hours and dying sooner than most people. By dying sooner, I don't have to save nearly as much for retirement as the rest of you poor souls! I am also thankful to be blessed and born in Alberta, where we work very hard every single day so that so many other Canadians don't have to! I am also thankful for our current leader, Justin Trudeau who knows the importance of sacrificing the country's economy for good global environmental optics. Also, he's good for a good laugh every month or so, and believe you me - we all need a good laugh these days! I'd also like to thank God for hockey, beer and bacon at this time. Thank you. Amen.

Posted by Donna:

I like apple cider but it has nothing to do with most Canadians Thanksgiving. Turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing (or dressing as we call it in our family) but definitely not cider. Pie of many different kinds is almost always included.

Posted by Betty McMahon:

I agree with the previous post. Thanksgiving is for giving thanks for crop harvests. It's close to Christmas , how much turkey can you eat?. I came from England and thanksgiving was celebrated with all the churches being (decorated) with crops at the Alter. After giving thanks to your God, and singing in celebration "We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land", the food was given away to charity.Wish we could do this in Canada!.

Posted by Tipper Parker:

You're right Richard !

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