Is Canadian Thanksgiving the same day as Columbus Day? - Thanks Giving day 2018

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Is Canadian Thanksgiving the same day as Columbus Day?

Is Canadian Thanksgiving the same day as Columbus Day?

For Canadians, Thanksgiving Is a ‘Quieter’ Affair in October


Most of the year, Canadians living in the United States look, talk and act so much like their neighbors that their nationality draws no attention at all. Autumn is a season of danger, though, when the mask of assimilation can be ripped off, forcing some Americans to face the unnerving, if fleeting, realization that Canada is an entirely different country.
All it takes is one mention of Canadian Thanksgiving.
The first reaction is typically laughter, as if this were another fine example of the Canadian sense of humor. Then comes disbelief. Finally, when it emerges that the holiday is celebrated on the second Monday in October, there may be a suspicion that on the other side of the border, time does not behave in the same way.
“It tends to domino into other big holidays,” said Kathryn Borel, a television writer in Los Angeles who grew up in Toronto and Quebec City. “They’ll really carefully ask you: ‘Do you celebrate Christmas on the same day? Do you celebrate — Easter?’ You can see it messing with their paradigm, like, if Thanksgiving is different, what else is different?”
A state of total innocence about Canadian Thanksgiving is easy to maintain in the United States, where the holiday gets about as much attention as the half-birthday of the youngest child in a family of 12. For one thing, it happens on Columbus Day, so eyebrows are not necessarily raised if somebody slips back to Saskatoon to spend the weekend with the family.
For another, the vast Thanksgiving-industrial complex keeps a conspiracy of silence about the existence of a parallel harvest dinner outside the United States. Taste of Home, the American food magazine with the largest circulation, says it has never run any articles about the Canadian holiday, although it has published Thanksgiving recipes from Canadian readers.
“Damn, I didn’t know this was a thing,” said Hunter Lewis, the editor in chief of Cooking Light, the food magazine with the second-largest circulation. After some research, Mr. Lewis wrote back to confirm that his magazine has never covered the holiday, either. Nor has Bon Appétit, according to a spokesman.
Turkey fatigue, a notorious affliction among food editors, may be partly to blame. “It’s bad enough having to do Thanksgiving over and over every year,” Ruth Reichl, who edited Gourmet from 1999 until its demise in 2009, wrote in an email. “We never touched a second Thanksgiving!”
Pressed on whether the Goldbachs had eaten anything out of the ordinary, he finally said, “We did try different kinds of corn.”
Different kinds of corn?
“Where I grew up was corn country, so sometimes there would be an exciting kind of corn,” he elaborated. “By the way, it usually wouldn’t be very good.”
Strictly from a branding point of view, Canada could have done more to position its holiday apart in the public mind. A single distinctively Canadian dish would help. So would a vivid back story. The traditional account of the pilgrims and natives at Plymouth in 1621 may be highly revisionist, but at least it offers something to debunk.
Janie Haddad Tompkins, an American-born actor who for the past six Octobers has attended Thanksgiving dinners hosted by Canadian expatriates in Los Angeles, said that her hosts never seemed to get around to explaining why their country observes the holiday in the first place.
“I thought our Thanksgiving had to do with the pilgrims and the Indians and all that stuff, which is a real whitewashing of a genocidal moment in our history,” Ms. Haddad Tompkins said. “But I don’t know what theirs is related to at all. Except maybe we had one, and they wanted to get in on the fun.”
The Protestant church leaders in Ontario who successfully lobbied for the first national day of giving thanks in 1859 did have their eye on the American holiday, but fun was not high on their list of priorities. According to Peter A. Stevens, who teaches history and Canadian studies at York University in Toronto, these clergymen established Thanksgiving as a religious holiday with an undercurrent of nationalist pride.
There's a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving: friends and family, leftovers, a long weekend ... and don't forget Canada! English explorer Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew first got their thanks on in Newfoundland in 1578, which is widely accepted at the first celebration of Thanksgiving in North America (there is, however, some debate as to when the first Thanksgiving actually occurred, and where). The story goes that Frobisher and company hadn't found the Northwest Passage to the Orient like they'd been hoping to, but still wanted to celebrate a safe arrival in the New World.
The frequently cited first American Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, occurred some 43 years later in 1621. We don't need to tell you the American version is a bit more controversial. The Pilgrims gathered to celebrate God's bounty and a good harvest. The Native Americans who helped the Pilgrims survive—many of whom were killed or exploited, in turn—may or may not have been invited to the party.

2. Canada still celebrates it first.


Is Canadian Thanksgiving the same day as Columbus Day?
Since 1957, Canadian Thanksgiving—which the natives simply call Thanksgiving—has occurred on the second Monday of October. But it hasn't always been that way. Years after the first celebration, the holiday occurred sporadically to coincide with larger events, differing by region. And if these events didn't occur in autumn? No big deal. In 1816, the end of the war between Great Britain and France inspired Thanksgiving in both Lower and Upper Canada in May and June, respectively. Then in 1921, the country tried to schedule a two-for-one so that Armistice Day and Thanksgiving would both be celebrated the Monday of the week of November 11. Thanksgiving's a lot less confusing now that Canada's one big tribe and can always count on the same annual three-day weekend.
Back in the U.S., Franklin D. Roosevelt is still regarded as one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century. He helped America recover from the Great Depression and fight a world war. He taught us that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." But no one talks about how FDR ruffled everyone's turkey feathers in 1939. Another beloved president, one Abraham Lincoln, first declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. The president was given the power to choose the date of the holiday each year, but the last Thursday of November became the standard. Holidays were difficult to celebrate during the Great Depression. Many businesses worried that most Americans wouldn't spend money Christmas shopping if Thanksgiving fell on the last day, or the fifth Thursday, of the month, as it did in 1939. So Roosevelt moved the holiday one week earlier, to the dismay of many Americans. Calendars were out-of-date. School schedules were disrupted. And retailers still complained that they were losing income. Some states decided to ignore the presidential decision and celebrate Thanksgiving on the usual day; others followed the president. For the next two years, Roosevelt made Thanksgiving the second to last Thursday of the month. But no one likes to fight over turkey dinner. In 1941, Congress officially declared Thanksgiving to be the fourth Thursday of November every year. Let them eat pie!

3. Holiday, Legislate!

Thanksgiving's a statutory holiday in most of Canada, meaning that it's celebrated nationally, but can also be legislated at the provincial and territorial levels. But in Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, Thanksgiving's optional. Most Canadians still get the day off, but others get paid overtime for working. One word of advice: Tell them thank you.
Thanksgiving's a federal holiday in the U.S., so most Americans get a day off to stuff themselves—and then a long weekend to reheat leftovers. Still, many others, from hospital employees to store clerks to restaurant workers, hold down the fort over the holiday. Another word of advice: Tell them thank you.

4. There's no Black Friday in the Great White North.

Historically, Canada's biggest shopping day of the year is Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. Imagine Black Friday, but with thousands of people returning disappointing gifts. There are sales and lines and yes, sometimes even a boxing match in the aisles. (Not everyone in Canada can be friendly.) While Black Friday has picked up in Canada, it isn't nearly the mess that it is in the United States.
Each year, American retailers sell massive amounts of inventory on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and the much less ominous sounding Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving. (The latter term was coined back in 2005. Can you believe it's only been seven years?) The two events are some of the biggest shopping days of the year. This year, the most crazy, err, dedicated shoppers are spending their vacation days camping out in front of stores up to a week before Black Friday. Hey, it's a free country.







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Is Canadian Thanksgiving the same day as Columbus Day?

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