Thanksgiving a great celebration in Canada

It’s hard to believe another Thanksgiving came and went. This particular holiday means a day off from work and the consumption of a delicious meal, but have you ever stopped to ponder why?

  • Oct. 15, 2008 5:00 p.m.

By Kim Hutchison

Staff Reporter:

It’s hard to believe another Thanksgiving came and went. This particular holiday means a day off from work and the consumption of a delicious meal, but have you ever stopped to ponder why?

The Canadian Thanksgiving is actually based on a number of traditions, the most popular being the European harvest festival. Before the arrival of the first Europeans in North American, farmers in Europe held celebrations to give thanks for a successful harvest. Tradition included filling a curved goat’s horn with fruit and grain called “a Horn of Plenty”. Workers who began a new life in Canada took this tradition with them, which is known as a Cornucopia.

In 1578 English navigator Martin Frobisher held a ceremony in Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean. He was knighted and had the inlet Frobisher Bay named after him. Other settlers arrived and continued this tradition.

In 1621 the Pilgrims, who were English colonists who founded a permanent European settlement at Plymouth Massachusetts, celebrated their harvest in the New World – The United States of America. By the 1750s, settlers moving to Canada from America had taken their celebrations and traditions with them. At the same time, French settlers arriving in Canada with the explorer Samuel de Champlain held Thanksgiving feasts and shared their food with their Indian neighbours.

After the seven years war ended in 1763 the citizens of Halifax, Nova Scotia held a special day of Thanksgiving. Also at the time of the American Revolution, people who remained loyal to the Government in England moved to Canada and spread the Thanksgiving celebration to other parts of the country.

Over the years, the official date has changed. In 1879 the Canadian Parliament declared November 6 as a day of Thanksgiving making it a national holiday until after the First World War when Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day were celebrated in the same week. It was then changed to the third Monday in October and remained that way for some time. On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed Thanksgiving take place on the second Monday of October. It is believed this change was made because since we are geographically further north than America, our harvest happens sooner.

Just Posted

Ponoka mayor & council takes on province for recreation funding

Mayor Rick Bonnett wants school requisition for three years

Ponoka County on the hook for rubber tire shredder

Cost of large shredder may yet fall completely on county as problems arise

Ponoka council approved a cannabis retail sales bylaw

Along with retail sales, the cannabis consumption bylaw was approved

Ponoka County approves Morningside ASP, MDP and North West decision is deferred

More information on protecting existing CFOs necessary prior to North West ASP approval

Ponoka parent speaks of gratitude during Legion’s candlelight vigil

The Ponoka Legion’s special candlelight vigil at the cemetery is a reminder of past sacrifices

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Ponoka family remembers fallen WWI soldier

A Ponoka soldier killed in action in the Great War is remembered

Annual Texas Longhorn show and sale draws local and international attention

ATLA part of a growing Canadian market for Texas Longhorn genetics

$500,000 goal well within reach for Ponoka’s Festival of Trees

Annual fundraiser just under $137,000 from attaining its long-term goal for the Ponoka hospital

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

St. Augustine Queens trip a fantastic victory in Turkey Burner home tournament

Ponoka’s Catholic school volleyball squads capture three medals

Most Read