Canadians have celebrated the harvest for countless generations even before there was a country called Canada.
Explorer Martin Frobisher hosted a Thanksgiving event in 1578 in Newfoundland to mark the safe arrival during his expeditions attempts to find the Northwest Passage to Asia.
So when people sit down this weekend to feast, they continue a tradition that has taken place for a long time but wasn’t formalized by politicians until 1957. That’s when the Canadian Parliament proclaimed that the nation would have a day of general thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.
The turkey, as the dinner centrepiece, was a tradition introduced around the time of the American by United Empire Loyalists moving up from the United States.
Though most Canadians live in urban centres, the Thanksgiving feast is a direct connection to the bounty that this nation produces.
In the United States, the holiday is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. The first record of Thanksgiving being celebrated in the United States date from 1621. The holiday was formalized by president Roosevelt in 1941.
While Canadians are marking Thanksgiving Monday, their neighbours to the south will also be having a holiday long weekend as Oct. 10 is Columbus Day.
To get readers thinking about what they are grateful for, we are offering a selection of sentiments from children at Kids in the Grove.