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All about Celebrating Thanksgiving in Canada

All about Celebrating Thanksgiving in Canada

You know, there’s something really special about how Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s not just about the turkey and tater tot toasts, though those are certainly a highlight!

Oh no, it’s much more than that. We Canadians have a smorgasbord of traditions wrapped around Thanksgiving, each one as heartwarming as the next.

So get comfy and read on to explore when Canada celebrates Thanksgiving, and how they bring their unique touch to the festivities. Who knows? You might be inspired to start a new tradition!

When does Canada celebrate Thanksgiving?

Did you know that Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on a different date than American Thanksgiving? Yup, that’s right! 

Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving feast way earlier in the year on the second Monday in October.

Meanwhile, our friends south of the border carve their turkeys in late November.

So, just imagine, while Americans are gearing up for Halloween, Canadians are already tucking into turkey and mashed potatoes. This delicious holiday tradition has been around in Canada since 1879, but it didn’t always fall on the second Monday in October. 

At first, the date was floating around—it found a fixed spot only in 1957. So, for nearly 80 years, Canadians kept their calendars flexible, ready to celebrate whenever the date fell! 

How do Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving? 

They gather for a traditional Thanksgiving feast

Canadian Thanksgiving is synonymous with a meal that would make even the most ardent foodie weak in the knees. We’re talking turkey that’s been roasted to golden, succulent perfection.

Then there’s the stuffing, which is so darn flavourful that it should be considered a main dish on its own. And don’t get me started on the fluffy mashed potatoes drowning in luscious gravy! 

This is comfort food at its finest, folks, and an important part of any Canadian Thanksgiving. Can you honestly think of a better way to celebrate the holiday than by sharing a load of good food with people you love?

Local tip: For a uniquely Canadian twist, try adding a drizzle of pure maple syrup to your roasted butternut squash.

They tune in for a classic football match

Another thing we Canucks cling to during Thanksgiving is football. When Turkey Day comes around, many Canadians gather around the tube to watch the CFL’s “Thanksgiving Day Classic” football match.

It’s an annual double-header that creates some serious excitement. It’s like the perfect digestif after a heavy meal, eh?

Local tip: Set up a friendly betting pool to make the game a bit more exciting. Maybe the loser does the dishes this year?

They celebrate with lively community Thanksgiving parades

But hey, Canadians are not just about lounging around, eating, and watching sports; we love us some showstopper community parades too! 

Just imagine floats, marching bands, music, colourful costumes, candy tossing, and town folk waving from decorated vehicles.

These parades are not just fun; they also serve to strengthen community ties and promote the spirit of togetherness and gratitude. Just about anyone can participate, making it a true reflection of Canadian inclusivity and generosity.

Local tip: Don’t forget to layer up; you’ll thank me later!

They give back to their communities through volunteering

Thanksgiving is, after all, about gratitude. And what better way to express it than by giving back?

Many Canadians choose to give back to their communities during Thanksgiving. Volunteering at local food banks, charities, and other community initiatives is a time-honoured Canadian tradition.

Local tip: Look into local food drives or soup kitchens. They’re always in need of extra hands during the holiday season.

They assemble with fall-themed outdoor activities

Many Canadians use Thanksgiving as the perfect opportunity to embrace the great outdoors. We’re right in the heart of fall, when the leaves have turned all shades of beautiful and there’s that special crisp, cool air.

It’s a visual spectacle, so whether it’s apple picking, going for a hike, or simply enjoying a picnic amidst the fall colours, there’s a fall-themed outdoor activity to appeal to everyone on Thanksgiving.

Local tip: If apple picking isn’t your jam, try visiting a local pumpkin patch. It’s seasonal fun, and you can pick out your future Jack-o’-lantern!

Some families go on a weekend getaway

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good feast with family, but sometimes the best way to truly appreciate a long weekend is by…escaping!

And Canadians sure know how to make the most of it. We Canucks often take advantage of the Thanksgiving weekend for a breather—a cabin in the woods, a trip to the mountains, or just a cosy B&B in a small town.

Plus, there’s no rule saying you can’t bring the turkey and stuffing along for the ride!

Local tip: Look for off-peak deals or last-minute bookings. You might score a cosy cottage by the lake for less.

They celebrate by baking traditional desserts

From the hearty to the sweetly divine, Thanksgiving dishes in Canada are never short on sugary delights. We’re talking pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sweet potato pie, and apple crumble—the list is as long as it is delicious!

The enticing aroma of these home-baked traditional desserts wafting from Canadian kitchens is a fragrant invitation to the Thanksgiving feast. It’s our sweet tradition—pun intended!

Each region has its own special delicacy, so it is like a culinary tour of Canada right from the comfort of your own dining room. Nothing screams festive more than a dessert spread that sends you into a swoon.

Local tip: Consider trying your hand at a Butter tart, a truly Canadian dessert. You won’t be disappointed (or maybe only by how quickly they vanish!).

Kids are kept busy doing holiday-themed crafts

Lastly, it’s not just about keeping our bellies full, but our hands busy too! Especially for the little ones among us, keeping kids entertained can be a challenge.

But this isn’t quite true during Thanksgiving. There are cosy crafts and nifty activities aplenty themed around this special holiday!

From turkey handprints to popsicle stick scarecrows to cornucopia centrepieces, the kids might be kept busier than the kitchen!

Local tip: Try incorporating items from nature, like colourful fall leaves or pinecones, into your crafts for a truly seasonal touch!
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