Thanksgiving in Canada falls on the second Monday in October. This can be perplexing to its southern neighbor’s residents. In the United States, where Thanksgiving falls of the third Thursday of November, many do not know how this wonderful holiday is celebrated the Canadian way. Canadian Thanksgiving has a longer history, commemorating the ceremony held by explorer Martin Frobisher in the year 1578 to celebrate his safe landing in Canada’s Frobisher Bay.
Things to do on Thanksgiving in Canada
- Attend the religious services of your choice. Thanksgiving in Canada is, amongst other things, a religious festival celebrating a bountiful harvest. It is similar to the Harvest Festivals held at many churches throughout Great Britain. It also has similarities to the Jewish Sukkot harvest celebration.
- Go for a hike outdoors, or you could alternately go for a weekend camping trip. The three-day weekend that marks Canadian Thanksgiving is often seen as the last chance to get outdoors and enjoy the glorious fall weather before winter sets in.
- Have a Canadian movie marathon. You can rent contemporary Canadian movies like “The Triplets of Belleville” or “Dragon Boys”, old classics like “Rose Marie” with Jeanette MacDonald and singing Mountie Nelson Eddy, TV shows like “Due South”, or even cartoons like “Rocky and Bullwinkle.”
- Decorate the house with fresh flowers in autumn colours like reds, oranges and yellows. You can also make a cornucopia-type centerpiece with fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Prepare a Canadian Thanksgiving feast. This may include traditional dishes well-known in the US. You can be sure to cook cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. You can also include some regional touches such as the French-Canadian meat pie called tourtiere.
- Watch a Canadian Football League (CFL) game on TV. In Canada, the games played on Thanksgiving Day are the only games played on a Monday apart from the Labour Day Classic.