Sunday, October 10, 2010
I stumbled across this on yahoo this morning, so thought I would share. We are spending our day at a demo derby watching my nephew Justin go for his last spin in his Geo...we are betting he won't be in the derby very long! At supper we will gather as a family to celebrate with food, fun and thanks. When someone is taken from you in a sudden manner and at an all too young an age, it is sometimes hard to be thankful. Today however, we will give thanks and say a Happy Birthday Lydia...you would have been 25 this weekend, we love you and miss you, and give thanks for the time we had with you!
Canadian Thanksgiving, held on the second Monday of October, has origins dating back to a 1578 homecoming feast for explorer Martin Frobisher when he returned to Newfoundland after his search for the Northwest Passage. However, like Native Americans to the South, Canada's First Nations people celebrated harvest festivals long before Europeans came to North America.
The purpose and frequency of Canadian Thanksgiving has fluctuated over the years, but the current commemoration date was set in 1931. After WWI, Armistice Day and Thanksgiving had both been celebrated on the Monday falling during the week of November 11. In the 1931 the holidays split and Armistice Day became Remembrance Day. The holiday is statutory for all provinces except Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
For Americans our version of the holiday seems quirky, fitting in the same category as pronouncing the letter "Z" as zed, calling soft drinks "pop" and paper money in multiple colours.
In the U.S., Thanksgiving originated in 1621 as a three-day harvest feast celebrated by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony and incorporated prayers to survive the winter ahead. During the American Civil War, president Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November. Today the holiday is held on the fourth Thursday of November.
The American holiday is now focused on family reunions, NFL football games and, of course, turkey. Over the years, Canada's holiday has come to mimic U.S. celebrations - with family and food taking centre stage.
Canadians spend the weekend preparing for the ordeal of winter in the best way we know how - letting all cares beside the doneness of the turkey melt away and enjoying time with those we love.