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Expat wanderer

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is the official Canadian Thanksgiving, although our Canadian friends have been partying and dining in splendor throughout the weekend. If you have any Canadian friends, be sure to greet them on their special holiday.

Wikipedia says:
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day (Canadian French: Action de grâce), is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks to God for the things one has at the close of the harvest season. The holiday is celebrated on the second Monday in October.

While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians might eat their Thanksgiving meal on any day of the three day weekend. Thanksgiving is often celebrated with family, it is also often a time for weekend getaways for couples to observe the autumn leaves, spend one last weekend at the cottage, or participate in various outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and hunting.

I saw several references to the Canadian Thanksgiving deriving from the American Thanksgiving, but Wikipedia says otherwise:

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey.

This feast is considered by many to be the first Thanksgiving celebration in North America, although celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops had been a long-standing tradition throughout North America by various First Nations and Native American groups. First Nations and Native Americans throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Cree and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America [2]. Frobisher was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him — Frobisher Bay.

At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, also held huge feasts of thanks. They even formed ‘The Order of Good Cheer’ and gladly shared their food with their First Nations neighbours.

The centerpiece of the Canadian Thanksgiving is the turkey and stuffing, surrounded by dishes made of root vegetables and gourds – beets, turnips, pumpkin, squashes, etc.

Those Canadians with French roots add special dishes to the mix:

Tortiere (a fabulous meat pie)

Maple Syrup Pie

I grabbed these photos from a fabulous Quebec blogger page where she has included recipes for the above, and for many other Canadian specialties. I wish One Whole Clove were still blogging. In the meanwhile, visit her pages for some delicious and out-of-the-ordinary delights.

Wishing all of our Canadian friends a delicious and delightful Thanksgiving, with many many blessings for which to be thankful, and for an abundant year to come.

October 12, 2008 - Posted by | Community, Cooking, Events, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Friends & Friendship, Holiday, Thanksgiving | ,

7 Comments »

  1. When I was in the States… I was lucky enough that I got invited to many thanks giving feast during my stay! The one time we were not invited we created our own and it was awesome as well… as for food my I love almost everything on the menu… I am drooling as I am thinking this
    Turkey
    cranberry sauce
    mashed potatoes
    YAMS YUMMY YAMS
    pumpkin pie…

    You know what? If I dont get invited to my friend’s house this year (whos half american) I will do my own thanks giving for my other American friend whos living here!!!

    drooool LOL

    Comment by Ansam | October 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. i bet my mom is preparing her famous canadian thanksgiving dinner…. god i hate her!

    i lived in canada for 13 yrs, when i tell ppl we have thanksgiving in october instead of november they find it weird!

    Comment by blasha | October 12, 2008 | Reply

  3. Oh Ansam! There are a bunch of Thanksgiving recipes I wrote two years ago in November. Doing your own Thanksgiving is SO much fun.

    Different families have different traditions. One family I know, also military, would recite where they were every Thanksgiving, working backwards to when they were married. Another goes around the table and everyone tells something he/she is thankful for. These traditions add so much.

    I hope you have a splendid Thanksgiving!

    Blasha – what did you like the very best about Thanksgiving? What was your favorite food? tradition?

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 12, 2008 | Reply

  4. Thank you!

    I am enjoyng my Thanksgiving long weekend here (Ontario, Canada)! Can’t wait for the actual dinner part!

    Comment by Ab | October 12, 2008 | Reply

  5. Ab – I hope you’ve been invited to a large family gathering where you can learn that our North American families are every bit as eccentric as families all over the world. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 13, 2008 | Reply

  6. everythin was yum!!! esp mom’s apple pie!

    and i guess mom’s forcing us to stay n eat together is the best part, since we hardly neva eat together.

    also playing charades right after dinner, where everyone is full and can’t eve move but we still played it!

    Comment by blasha | October 14, 2008 | Reply

  7. even*

    Comment by blasha | October 14, 2008 | Reply


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