What is Canadian Thanksgiving, Anyway?
As GOOD's resident Canadian, I will herein explain the mysterious holiday known as Canadian Thanksgiving. If I missed any of your burning questions, you can put them in the comments.
So, when is it?
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
Why is it called Canadian Thanksgiving?
It's not. In Canada, it's just called Thanksgiving.
But why is it so early in the fall?
Because Canada is colder and the harvest ends sooner.
If you were in Canada with your family, what would be for dinner?
Same stuff: turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes, which, if you're my grandmother, you mix with turnips. Also, candied yams. And pumpkin pie for dessert.
Does everyone crowd around the TV after dinner to watch football?
The guys do, yeah.
Is it always on October 11th?
No. Since 1957, it's been celebrated on the second Monday in October. Before that, it was celebrated on November 11, which is the date of another mysterious Canadian holiday called Remembrance Day, when you make sure to call your grandfather, or anyone else you know who fought in a war. Long before it had National Holiday status, however, the harvest was celebrated by natives.
What's the holiday all about?
It's a celebration of the harvest, where you give thanks (to God, technically) for all the food you get to eat. For the most part, it's celebrated as a secular holiday, though.
What about settlers and Pilgrims—are they involved?
According to Google, the first Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1578 when a lost English explorer named Martin Frobisher landed in what is now the butt of many Canadian jokes—Newfoundland. But as a public-school-educated kid who was taught all kinds of Canadian things growing up, that's the first I've ever heard of it, or him.
So, really, it's all about the food.
Do Canadians have their big dinner on the actual day of Thanksgiving?
Canadians are practical and Monday is a school night, so usually not. The big dinner is traditionally the night before, on the Sunday.
Are things closed on Thanksgiving like they are in the Unites States?
Yes, although if you live in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, or Prince Edward Island it's not a statutory holiday, which means it's not a paid day off. But most stores are closed.
Is the day after Thanksgiving the biggest shopping day of the year?
Nope. That would be Boxing Day, yet another mysterious Canadian holiday, which is the day after Christmas. It's when everyone returns the stuff they got for the stuff they actually want, but for cheaper.
Why Do Happy People Make The Suburbs Look Even More Depressing? There’s a reason engagement photos aren’t normally taken where the couple actually plans on living
Keeping a Pakistani Artisan Culture from Going Extinct Lahore-based social entrepreneurs support local craftsmen by selling men’s shoes named after an endangered goat
Can You Cut Your Water Consumption by 90 Percent for 24 Hours? A nonprofit challenges people to live off a gallon of water a day, instead of dumping it on their heads
A Love Letter to Philadelphia A personal look into the city from the local poet, muscian, singer, and educator
You Can’t Print a Photo from Outer Space On Polyester Celine Semaan Vernon’s new fashion project is a cosmic experiment in empathy.
Forget the Ouija Board If you want to get into divination this Halloween season, check out these alternatives to the game that rhymes with ‘squeegee’
The Standards are Too Damn High An African leadership prize that frequently has no winners has sparked a debate over whether standards of excellence can turn self-defeating.
Stop Chasing the “It” Pumpkin One man’s brave stance against pricey heirloom gourds fouling up fall.
Skid Row Is Here to Stay The largest, and probably proudest, homeless community in the United States is becoming a powerful interest group in Los Angeles.
How to Raise $750,000 for Charity, the YouTuber Way Rising YouTube sensations like Tyler Oakley and Connor Franta mobilize their massive fan base for a cause Next time your birthday rolls around, consider what these enterprising stars did to celebrate theirs.
Chelsea Handler Tries Making Fun Of Andy’s Weight. It Backfires Immediately. An embarrassingly bad attempt to make fun of Andy’s weight
Another Kind of Street Meat Searching for abundant, organic, all-natural, free meat? Consider roadkill.