Does Canada celebrate thanksgiving? When and why do they do it?
The US and Canada do not share Thanksgiving on the same day as one another (Picture: Getty)

Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving once a year, however there are some differences between their celebration and that of their US neighbours’.

In Canada, Thanksgiving is still a time of year where Canadians visit their families and say what they are thankful for, as well as eating lots of delicious food.

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When Is Canadian Thanksgiving?

Interestingly, the US and Canada do not share Thanksgiving on the same day.

Thanksgiving will be celebrated in the US on Thursday but it's different to Canada
Thanksgiving will be celebrated in the US on Thursday (Picture: Getty)

This year’s US celebrations will be on Thursday 23 November. American Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

However, in Canada, the second Monday of October is the public holiday, therefore Canadian Thanksgiving was on Monday 9 October in 2017.

Despite the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday being on the second Monday of October, families and friends generally get together for their Thanksgiving meal on any one of the three days of the three-day holiday weekend.

Why is there a Canadian Thanksgiving?

The Canadian Thanksgiving is associated with Europe as festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in Europe in October.

It is said that the very first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in 1578 in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England in search of the Northwest Passage.

This event is argued to be the first Thanksgiving by some because he was thankful for staying alive after a long and arduous journey.

In 1777, Thanksgiving was first observed by the commands of the Protestant clergy leaders and they established a national day of public thanksgiving and prayer in 1789 to recognise of God’s mercies.

Thanksgiving was celebrated in either late October or early November, before it was declared a national holiday in 1879.

It was then, that 6 November was set aside as the official Thanksgiving holiday.

However on 31 January, 1957, the Canadian Parliament announced that on the second Monday in October, Thanksgiving would be ‘a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.’

MORE: Interesting facts about Thanksgiving: When did it become a national holiday? How long did the first Thanksgiving last?

MORE: When was the first Thanksgiving and why did the Pilgrims celebrate it?