Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! We hope you have had a wonderful year so far and have plenty to be thankful for. For those in the United States, no, we’re not writing this too soon. While Thanksgiving falls in late November in the US, America’s friendly neighbor to the north celebrates in mid-October. This is largely because while the two holidays share a common name, they do not necessarily share a common history.
Thanksgiving in the United States is famously based on the meal shared between the Pilgrims and the Native American tribes who helped them survive the harsh winter upon landing on American shores. The tradition of setting aside time to give thanks for the harvest of the year continued on in some form for many years until officially recognized in 1789 by president George Washington "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God."
Thanksgiving in Canada does have a similar story. However, the event that is generally tied with the advent of Thanksgiving actually took place prior to the Pilgrims’ feast. While feasts and festivals in gratitude for a bountiful harvest had taken place for many centuries, Canadian Thanksgiving can be linked to English explorer Martin Frobisher and a massive storm off the coast of Baffin Island. The storm drove Frobisher’s ships apart in July of 1578. When the sailors were able to reunite in August, the group’s chaplain brought everyone together for a communal meal to offer thanks to God for bringing them back together.
While celebrated on different days, Thanksgiving in Canada and the United States share many common themes. Family is an important aspect. Gathering with those you love and being thankful together is at the heart of this holiday. And of course, there is the meal. Americans and Canadians alike belly up to a feast of turkey, stuffing, corn, and cranberries. For dessert, the standard in both countries is pumpkin pie. And finally, in both countries, Thanksgiving is a day of football. In the US, fans will always see games played by the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. In Canada, the CFL presents the Thanksgiving Day Classic, a doubleheader shown on national television.
While Black Friday is a quintessentially an American holiday, it has spilled over into Canada and has become a big day for shopping deals. Many retailers noticed Canadians crossing the border into the US on Black Friday to take advantage of the specials, so about 10 years ago stores began opening earlier and offering discounts to compete. Of course, the biggest shopping day in Canada – and the most comparable to Black Friday – is Boxing Day, the day after Christmas.
While our two countries may celebrate Thanksgiving at different times of year and have different origin stories, one thing we agree on is that we all have much to be thankful for.
Thankful for YOU
Here at Morguard, we have plenty to give thanks for, and we are most thankful for the amazing members of our Morguard team. We’re always looking for fun, creative, hard-working people to join our family. If you or someone you know is a good fit for our company culture and are currently seeking a new role in apartment or property management, consider a career with Morguard. Also, continue to follow our blog to find out more about Morguard Community happenings!