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Thanksgiving Day in Canada


In Canada, Thanksgiving day is celebrated on second Monday of November whereas in America it is celebrated on fourth Thursday of November.

In year 2014, Canadian Thanksgiving falls on Monday, Oct 13 and in 2015, ThanksGiving falls on Oct 12. It is the first long weekend after the school starts and last before the chills of Winter kicks in.

It is an official Stat Holiday except for PEI, NewFoundland, Novascotia and NewBrunswick. In Quebec, Thanksgiving, or, action de grâce, is celebrated a bit differently. Though celebrated by the English-speaking population in Quebec, French Canadians normally do not carry on with turkey and family get-togethers and take it as another day to cool off and relax. However, Federal Government employees (and some Provincial employees) do get this as paid day off.

Check out complete list of Canadian National Holidays

For a few hundred years, Thanksgiving was celebrated in either late October or early November, before it was declared a national holiday in 1879. It was then, that November 6th was set aside as the official Thanksgiving holiday. But then on January 31, 1957, Canadian Parliament announced that on the second Monday in October, Thanksgiving would be "a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed." Thanksgiving was moved to the second Monday in October because after the World Wars, Remembrance Day (November 11th) and Thanksgiving kept falling in the same week.

It originated as a religious festival that corresponds to the English and continental European Harvest festival. Churches would be decorated with pumpkins and other harvest bounties. English harvest hymn would be sung on the sunday of ThanksGiving long weekend. It is slowly evolving into a weekend where families get together to share a big meal. Thanksgiving feast with a big Turkey. Different families hold the big feast on different days of the three day long weekend. Turkey, Apple cider and Pumpkin has become a big part of thanksgiving festivities. People decorate there houses and special prayers are done in churches. So people are out and around. It is a time of joy and merry.

With time thanksgiving parade has also become a big tradition of Thanksgiving weekend. The "Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest parade" is the most widely known Canadian Thanksgiving Day parade and is broadcast nationwide on CTV.

Check out complete list of Canadian National Holidays

When is the Thanksgiving Holiday in Canada?
2010: Monday, Oct 11
2011: Monday, Oct 10
2012: Monday, Oct 8
2013: Monday, Oct 14
2014: Monday, Oct 13
2015: Monday, Oct 12

Unlike United States, there is no 'black Friday' after Thanksgiving in Canada. Americans celebrate a day of Shopping spree after thanksgiving holiday which is called 'Black Friday'. It is however become a very common trend in Canadians to head across border to avail the black friday deals. There are sometimes really crazy deals on Electronics (TV, Phones, Laptop etc), clothings and personal accessories. But they have to wait for US Thanksgiving weekend.


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Things to do on Thanksgiving holiday in Canada (We promise no turkey)

    It is a family activities. Lots to do for everyone in the family. Folk music, Jugglers, Petting zoo, rides, Food, boat rides etc.
    Oct. 9 to 11. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000,
  2. SOUPALICIOUS - Toronto
    Chefs from Toronto's favourite restaurants—Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Cowbell, and Local Kitchen and Wine Bar—kill comfort food cravings with their soups made from Canadian produce. Admission includes 10 samples at the “all-you-can-slurp” soup stations, all the better to get your belly ready for Thanksgiving big feast later in the weekend. Reservations required. Oct. 9. $15. Heritage Court, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes Blvd., 416-535-0240,
    It has become somewhat ceremonial to have a game on thanksgiving weekend. Oct. 9. $25.78–$401.51. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 416-870-8000,
    A creepy take on the usual artisan fair, this annual gathering of indie crafters, publishers, artists and the like promises “exotic, whimsical and macabre” offerings. We hear skeleton motifs are hot this year. Oct. 10. Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement, 6 Noble St.,
  5. Butterfield acres - Calgary
    Harvest Pumpkin Hunts run weekends in October. It is a ticketed event. Kids will definitely enjoy this as they ride a tractor pulled trailer, find the pumpkins and then decorate it themselves.

    Children’s Harvest Pumpkin Hunt ticket includes Farmyard Admission – $11.99 +gst.( Ticket includes one pumpkin for each child).
    Adult’s Harvest Pumpkin Hunt ticket includes Farmyard Admission – $14.99 plus GST. For more information including hours, direction and parking, see here

    254077 Rocky Ridge Road Calgary, Alberta, Canada,T3R 1A6
  6. Calgary Corn Maze - Calgary
    Flashlight night on October 7th, Friday. - Navigating the corn maze at night with only flash light. Last admission to the maze is 9 pm. The site will remain open until 10 pm.

    Autumn Pumpkin Festival on October 8 & 9. Activities include Scarecrow making,Pumpkin picking,Corn flour pounding, Face painting, Pumpkin carving contest. $5 entry fee and purchase of the pumpkin required. For more information see here
    284022 Township Road 224 Rockyview, Alberta T1X 0J6
  7. UBC Apple Festival - Vancouver
    Now in its 22nd year, the UBC Apple Festival celebrates one of British Columbia's favourite fruits with apple tastings, kids' activities and a food fair. One of the most popular activities at the Apple Festival is our apple tasting tent. For only $5.00, curious event goers can taste up to 60 varieties of new and heritage apples grown in British Columbia. General entrance ricket is $4 and kids under 12 are free. UBC Botanical Garden, UBC, Vancouver

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