What's The Difference Between Canadian And American Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving 2020 - History, Meaning, Quotes, Message, Food
Hi my name is Polash and I was born and raised in the United States but for the past decade and a bit, I have lived in Canada. And I am both American and Canadian. And both countries celebrate Thanksgiving. 

But I wanted to talk about the differences between American Thanksgiving and Canadian Thanksgiving. So as you may know both Canadian and American Thanksgiving they look pretty similar but there are a lot of differences.
Difference Between Canadian And American Thanksgiving

Celebration Time


The most obvious difference is when they're celebrated. In the US Thanksgiving is on the 4th Thursday of November and it's usually celebrated on that Thursday while in Canada. It's on the second Monday of October.

And sometimes it's celebrated on that Monday but it could also be celebrated on the Saturday or Sunday of that long weekend. And interestingly the second Monday of October is also a holiday in the US but it's Columbus Day.

Now over in the US Thanksgiving on Thursday is a public holiday but Friday is kind of state by state although most people get the Friday off as well so it's generally a four day weekend.

While in Canada Monday is the public holiday and it's not national there are actually four Atlantic provinces that do not have Thanksgiving as a statutory holiday.

And as a bit of a side note in Quebec while it is a statutory holiday there it's not as commonly celebrated as it is in the rest of the country because in the US they get that Friday off or at least most people get that Friday off.

And because of some past traditions, Black Friday is a big part of Thanksgiving weekend where things go on sale and it's a huge shopping day in the year getting ready for Christmas.

On the day after Thanksgiving but in Canada Thanksgiving is on a Monday so there's no Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving. However on American Black Friday.

There are a lot of stores in Canada that will do Black Friday sales but it's not a holiday for us or a day off and the sales aren't quite as good or as intense as they are in the US.

So even though they're on different days and different months the way Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving looks really similar.

It's a gathering or meal usually with your family. There's always turkey and pumpkin pie. They look really similar.

Thanksgiving Football Playing



Football is something that both country's holiday shares. In Canada, the CFL the Canadian Football League puts on a doubleheader called The Thanksgiving Day Classic.

And I would say it's not quite as big of a deal as football is in U.S thanksgiving. But it still exists and in the US the tradition of having football games held on Thanksgiving Day dates way back to the 19th century.

Today you'll still see professional football games on TV on Thanksgiving Day. You'll even see high school football games being held on Thanksgiving and families just going out in their backyards or to a park and playing football games before or after Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Day Parades


Another tradition that both countries share is the Thanksgiving Day parades. So in the US, it's the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade which has been around since 1924 and happens in New York.

And it's huge averaging over 24 million viewers which is a little over 7% of the US population and in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade you'll see a lot of famous names or famous people like musicians or actors and actresses.

You'll see renditions and Broadway shows that are on right now and a lot of marching bands and huge floats. It's a really big deal and a lot of families watch this together on Thanksgiving morning followed by the dog show.

And Canada has a parade to the Kitchener Waterloo October Fest puts on the Thanksgiving Day parade and I would say that it's not as grandiose or as big of a deal or even as popular as the parade is in the US but it's still a Thanksgiving Day Parade and in 2017.

It was estimated at its peak to have about a million viewers which would be under 3 percent of the Canadian population. So other than one being on a Thursday the other being on a Monday and one being in November the other being in October they seem pretty similar.

Historical Difference


Are we celebrating the same thing? They are both built around a harvest celebration but the histories of the two Thanksgivings are totally different and one is a bit more complicated than the other one in the US.

When we talk about where Thanksgiving originates we're talking about one specific event that everyone knows about but in Canada, there's not really one specific event that we see as the origin of Thanksgiving.

But there are two events that are probably the most likely. So the first most likely origin of Thanksgiving in Canada happened in 1578.

During the third expedition to find the Northwest Passage when the group of ships they were separated because of its really bad weather and ice. But in August they finally reunited in what's now.

None of it and to give thanks to God for reuniting them. This group of people gathered for a communal meal but they never actually found the Northwest Passage or created a successful settlement here.

The second most likely origin was in 1606 when settlers of what is now Nova Scotia. They had a really rough winter and they had a lot of deaths in their community mostly due to scurvy so they wanted to raise spirits and they created something called the Order of good cheer.

Where through the next winter they got together weekly for a communal feast and they even invited their McMath neighbors apologies because I know I'm probably pronouncing that wrong but those were the indigenous people in the area and then after the first winter they made it an annual tradition to have a communal feast.

Now heading south of the border and a few years later and 1620. The pilgrims made it over on the Mayflower and set up a colony. And in 1621 one to celebrate their first successful harvest they held a three-day gathering.

A communal feast. And this three-day feast was also attended by about 90 members of the Wampanoag tribe. Apologies. I am also pronouncing that one incorrectly I'm sure.

But these were the native people in that area and they actually outnumber the number of pilgrims there were roughly about 50 pilgrims. And we don't actually know when this three-day feast was even held.

But it was most likely somewhere between the end of September and mid-November most likely being in October which is interesting when Canadian Thanksgiving is now celebrated.

The same is true for both countries and that the origins did not lead to a yearly and annual Thanksgiving that's been held ever since the very first Thanksgiving in Canada. Thanksgiving didn't really start solidifying as a tradition until 1763 when the British took over.

But even then the reasons and the dates for celebration changed and it was different in different regions and in the US it was even a little bit later in the 18th century when a few presidents would name Thanksgiving days on certain years.

But these days were at different times and it wasn't an annual tradition. And then later on in the 19th century, it was state governors that would start naming Thanksgiving days.

And it wasn't until the 18th thirties that Americans even started looking at that first three-day feast between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans as the first Thanksgiving. The U.S. was the first of the two to actually make Thanksgiving an official annual holiday.

This happened in 1863 under Lincoln who named it as kind of a celebration of civil war victories but as happened annually ever since that first official Thanksgiving was held on the last Thursday of November and has been held on that date ever since.

Although at one point it did switch from last Thursday of November to the fourth Thursday of November because there are some Novembers that have five Thursdays and Canada was only 15 years behind at making Thanksgiving an official holiday with the first official Thanksgiving being on November 6th, 1879.

And the date originally bounced back and forth between October and November. And the government would use Thanksgiving as a way to celebrate different things each year like maybe a harvest or a special anniversary. And it finally stopped bouncing around in 1957 when Parliament decided on a date and a reason for the celebration which was the second Monday of October.

And to thank God for the harvest that Canada had that year in both countries the dates of Thanksgiving throughout history changed. Both had some in November and October the US's first thanksgiving was most likely in October. Canada's first official Thanksgiving was definitely in November.

Why did Canada land on the second Monday in October and the US landed on the fourth Thursday of November?



We can't be 100 percent sure here but some people think that in Canada because it's a colder climate. Harvest happens a bit earlier which is why we would be harvesting and celebrating in October.

But another reason might be Remembrance Day which is a holiday in Canada held in November so it's just a way to put a separation between the two of those in the US.

It's the end of November just because that's the first date that Abraham Lincoln named it an official holiday and we followed that tradition ever since.

Now neither of these countries invented the idea of having a harvest celebration and they aren't even the only two countries in the world that celebrate something like a Thanksgiving.

But because the two countries are so close together in proximity it's interesting to look at the differences and the similarities between the two.

So as a bit of a recap the origin of Thanksgiving in Canada was either in 1578 when a bunch of explorers got together to thank God that they didn't all die or in 16 0 6 when a bunch of settlers got together to raise their spirits because so many of them were dying an American Thanksgiving originated in 1621 when the Mayflower pilgrims got together to celebrate their first successful harvest in the new land.

The Americans made it an official holiday first in 1863 and the Canadians made it an official holiday in 1879. In the US Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday of November while in Canada it's held on the second Monday of October.

Well like other holidays I would say that Thanksgiving is celebrated a bit bigger and a bit more grandiose in the US. That's probably helped a bit by Americans getting a four day weekend and most Americans celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday.

While Canadians get a three day weekend and because it's a Monday they often celebrated on Saturday or Sunday so it's not even held on the same day for everybody. But even if it is generally a bit bigger in the US the two celebrations do look really similar.

They're both families getting together over a big meal consisting of similar types of food and football and parades exist in both holidays so there are a lot of details I can cover. But those are the highlights of the differences and similarities between American and Canadian Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoyed it. 

What's The Difference Between Canadian And American Thanksgiving

Hi my name is Polash and I was born and raised in the United States but for the past decade and a bit, I have lived in Canada. And I am both American and Canadian. And both countries celebrate Thanksgiving. 

But I wanted to talk about the differences between American Thanksgiving and Canadian Thanksgiving. So as you may know both Canadian and American Thanksgiving they look pretty similar but there are a lot of differences.
Difference Between Canadian And American Thanksgiving

Celebration Time


The most obvious difference is when they're celebrated. In the US Thanksgiving is on the 4th Thursday of November and it's usually celebrated on that Thursday while in Canada. It's on the second Monday of October.

And sometimes it's celebrated on that Monday but it could also be celebrated on the Saturday or Sunday of that long weekend. And interestingly the second Monday of October is also a holiday in the US but it's Columbus Day.

Now over in the US Thanksgiving on Thursday is a public holiday but Friday is kind of state by state although most people get the Friday off as well so it's generally a four day weekend.

While in Canada Monday is the public holiday and it's not national there are actually four Atlantic provinces that do not have Thanksgiving as a statutory holiday.

And as a bit of a side note in Quebec while it is a statutory holiday there it's not as commonly celebrated as it is in the rest of the country because in the US they get that Friday off or at least most people get that Friday off.

And because of some past traditions, Black Friday is a big part of Thanksgiving weekend where things go on sale and it's a huge shopping day in the year getting ready for Christmas.

On the day after Thanksgiving but in Canada Thanksgiving is on a Monday so there's no Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving. However on American Black Friday.

There are a lot of stores in Canada that will do Black Friday sales but it's not a holiday for us or a day off and the sales aren't quite as good or as intense as they are in the US.

So even though they're on different days and different months the way Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving looks really similar.

It's a gathering or meal usually with your family. There's always turkey and pumpkin pie. They look really similar.

Thanksgiving Football Playing



Football is something that both country's holiday shares. In Canada, the CFL the Canadian Football League puts on a doubleheader called The Thanksgiving Day Classic.

And I would say it's not quite as big of a deal as football is in U.S thanksgiving. But it still exists and in the US the tradition of having football games held on Thanksgiving Day dates way back to the 19th century.

Today you'll still see professional football games on TV on Thanksgiving Day. You'll even see high school football games being held on Thanksgiving and families just going out in their backyards or to a park and playing football games before or after Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Day Parades


Another tradition that both countries share is the Thanksgiving Day parades. So in the US, it's the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade which has been around since 1924 and happens in New York.

And it's huge averaging over 24 million viewers which is a little over 7% of the US population and in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade you'll see a lot of famous names or famous people like musicians or actors and actresses.

You'll see renditions and Broadway shows that are on right now and a lot of marching bands and huge floats. It's a really big deal and a lot of families watch this together on Thanksgiving morning followed by the dog show.

And Canada has a parade to the Kitchener Waterloo October Fest puts on the Thanksgiving Day parade and I would say that it's not as grandiose or as big of a deal or even as popular as the parade is in the US but it's still a Thanksgiving Day Parade and in 2017.

It was estimated at its peak to have about a million viewers which would be under 3 percent of the Canadian population. So other than one being on a Thursday the other being on a Monday and one being in November the other being in October they seem pretty similar.

Historical Difference


Are we celebrating the same thing? They are both built around a harvest celebration but the histories of the two Thanksgivings are totally different and one is a bit more complicated than the other one in the US.

When we talk about where Thanksgiving originates we're talking about one specific event that everyone knows about but in Canada, there's not really one specific event that we see as the origin of Thanksgiving.

But there are two events that are probably the most likely. So the first most likely origin of Thanksgiving in Canada happened in 1578.

During the third expedition to find the Northwest Passage when the group of ships they were separated because of its really bad weather and ice. But in August they finally reunited in what's now.

None of it and to give thanks to God for reuniting them. This group of people gathered for a communal meal but they never actually found the Northwest Passage or created a successful settlement here.

The second most likely origin was in 1606 when settlers of what is now Nova Scotia. They had a really rough winter and they had a lot of deaths in their community mostly due to scurvy so they wanted to raise spirits and they created something called the Order of good cheer.

Where through the next winter they got together weekly for a communal feast and they even invited their McMath neighbors apologies because I know I'm probably pronouncing that wrong but those were the indigenous people in the area and then after the first winter they made it an annual tradition to have a communal feast.

Now heading south of the border and a few years later and 1620. The pilgrims made it over on the Mayflower and set up a colony. And in 1621 one to celebrate their first successful harvest they held a three-day gathering.

A communal feast. And this three-day feast was also attended by about 90 members of the Wampanoag tribe. Apologies. I am also pronouncing that one incorrectly I'm sure.

But these were the native people in that area and they actually outnumber the number of pilgrims there were roughly about 50 pilgrims. And we don't actually know when this three-day feast was even held.

But it was most likely somewhere between the end of September and mid-November most likely being in October which is interesting when Canadian Thanksgiving is now celebrated.

The same is true for both countries and that the origins did not lead to a yearly and annual Thanksgiving that's been held ever since the very first Thanksgiving in Canada. Thanksgiving didn't really start solidifying as a tradition until 1763 when the British took over.

But even then the reasons and the dates for celebration changed and it was different in different regions and in the US it was even a little bit later in the 18th century when a few presidents would name Thanksgiving days on certain years.

But these days were at different times and it wasn't an annual tradition. And then later on in the 19th century, it was state governors that would start naming Thanksgiving days.

And it wasn't until the 18th thirties that Americans even started looking at that first three-day feast between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans as the first Thanksgiving. The U.S. was the first of the two to actually make Thanksgiving an official annual holiday.

This happened in 1863 under Lincoln who named it as kind of a celebration of civil war victories but as happened annually ever since that first official Thanksgiving was held on the last Thursday of November and has been held on that date ever since.

Although at one point it did switch from last Thursday of November to the fourth Thursday of November because there are some Novembers that have five Thursdays and Canada was only 15 years behind at making Thanksgiving an official holiday with the first official Thanksgiving being on November 6th, 1879.

And the date originally bounced back and forth between October and November. And the government would use Thanksgiving as a way to celebrate different things each year like maybe a harvest or a special anniversary. And it finally stopped bouncing around in 1957 when Parliament decided on a date and a reason for the celebration which was the second Monday of October.

And to thank God for the harvest that Canada had that year in both countries the dates of Thanksgiving throughout history changed. Both had some in November and October the US's first thanksgiving was most likely in October. Canada's first official Thanksgiving was definitely in November.

Why did Canada land on the second Monday in October and the US landed on the fourth Thursday of November?



We can't be 100 percent sure here but some people think that in Canada because it's a colder climate. Harvest happens a bit earlier which is why we would be harvesting and celebrating in October.

But another reason might be Remembrance Day which is a holiday in Canada held in November so it's just a way to put a separation between the two of those in the US.

It's the end of November just because that's the first date that Abraham Lincoln named it an official holiday and we followed that tradition ever since.

Now neither of these countries invented the idea of having a harvest celebration and they aren't even the only two countries in the world that celebrate something like a Thanksgiving.

But because the two countries are so close together in proximity it's interesting to look at the differences and the similarities between the two.

So as a bit of a recap the origin of Thanksgiving in Canada was either in 1578 when a bunch of explorers got together to thank God that they didn't all die or in 16 0 6 when a bunch of settlers got together to raise their spirits because so many of them were dying an American Thanksgiving originated in 1621 when the Mayflower pilgrims got together to celebrate their first successful harvest in the new land.

The Americans made it an official holiday first in 1863 and the Canadians made it an official holiday in 1879. In the US Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday of November while in Canada it's held on the second Monday of October.

Well like other holidays I would say that Thanksgiving is celebrated a bit bigger and a bit more grandiose in the US. That's probably helped a bit by Americans getting a four day weekend and most Americans celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday.

While Canadians get a three day weekend and because it's a Monday they often celebrated on Saturday or Sunday so it's not even held on the same day for everybody. But even if it is generally a bit bigger in the US the two celebrations do look really similar.

They're both families getting together over a big meal consisting of similar types of food and football and parades exist in both holidays so there are a lot of details I can cover. But those are the highlights of the differences and similarities between American and Canadian Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoyed it. 

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