This blog post is dedicated to all my American friends who didn't know that us, Canadians also celebrated Thanksgiving but in October. Yes, we also give thanks!!
The common question was "What are YOU (Canadian's) giving thanks for?" ... So I took it upon myself to investigate the history of it. Here's what I've come up with:
Canadian Thanksgiving symbolizes in the days of pioneers, surviving the long cold harsh winters and like the Chinese Autumn moon festival (see previous blog), it symbolizes the end of harvest season.
There is a common belief that since our country is further north and gets hit harder by Mother Nature - our harvest season closes earlier. Another belief is that it is in October to not interfere with our Rememberance Day in November which commemorates the many Canadians who died in wars.
The origins of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to the 1600s when European explorer Samuel Champlain arrived with French Settlers in Canada after crossing the ocean. They survived a particular tough winter in which 35 died of scurvy, a disease related to poor nutrition and so cold that even their alcohol froze!! Champlain decided that huge feasts with good food and friends would help his colony stay healthy and alive. So he formed 'the Order of Good Cheer' and gladly shared their food with the First Nations neigbors. This is what people believed was the first Thanksgiving feast!
For my Thanksgiving feast, I always cook a Turkey dinner with all the trimmings including mashed potatos, sweet potatoes, stuffing, salad and of course pie for friends and family on this holiday and looking forward to doing it again!
So overall there may not be a deep history of thankfulness of pilgramage and the Mayflower like our American neighbors but celebrating friends, great food and healthy seems like a better reason to me!?
Regardless of where you are, Happy Turkey Day!
By Jacqueline Vong at 12:33 PM