This Weekend Marks An International Holiday

October 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving To All My Canadian Flickr B...

Image by bill barber via Flickr

… and this international holiday happens to be that of Thanksgiving!.. well, for Canadian’s at least. Every year since I have been in attendance in university, I have missed out on my national holiday of my mum’s cooking, and fall foliage, since of course I attend school in the United States. So, in honour of my holiday (and my missing of it once again), I will answer the general questions that I am constantly asked regarding my version of the turkey-known holiday.

Well, very reasonable question, since Americans have their own version of the holiday in which the pilgrims and Indians shared a bountiful feast peacefully. Now, this is not the same reasoning for our holiday, hence being a different country with a very differing history. Our Thanksgiving was first celebrated in the late 1500’s when a british explorer, Martin Frobisher, arrived in Newfoundland after searching for a route to the Orient (clearly, he got off track). Upon his arrival, it is written that to give thanks for a safe arrival in the New World, he held a large feast, beginning the tradition of Thanksgiving. For years, the holiday was celebrated in either October or November, until it was changed on January 31, 1957. Canadian Parliament announced that on the second Monday in October, Thanksgiving, now declared as a national holiday, would be “a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.”

We celebrate the occasion in very similar fashion to the Americans. Turkey and stuffing is the norm, as is pies, potatoes, vegetables, etc. However, I had never seen sweet potatoes mixed with marshmallows until my arrival to the U.S. This is still an oddity for me! And to cover the “When?,” we celebrate our Thanksgiving on a Monday (specifically the second Monday in October), instead of the Wednesday through Friday holidays in which most Americans receive off work/school here. And we do not have a  national Macy’s parade. I suppose you could say that the Canadian Thanksgiving is similar to most things Canadian: not flashy, nor glamourous.. but very humbly traditional.

So to all my friends and family up north – Happy Thanksgiving! Although I will not be able to indulge in my mum’s cooking this year, I will be doing so a week from now as IUPUI has now begun its class tradition of a Fall Break! That’s what I’ll be thankful for!! xo


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