Some Canadian Thanksgiving facts:
– Canadian Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the second Monday in October, earlier than the American Thanksgiving, which is held in November. Since 1971 it has coincided with Columbus Day in the U.S.
– The first Thanksgiving feast in the U.S. was held in 1621 when the Pilgrims celebrated their harvest. However, the Americans did not invent Thanksgiving. English navigator Martin Frobisher held a celebration of thanks in 1578 in what is now Newfoundland as he had survived the long journey over the seas.
– In 1879 Parliament declared November 6th to be a Thanksgiving holiday, and then after World War I both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11th fell. In 1931 Armistice Day became Remembrance Day, and then on January 31, 1957, parliament declared Thanksgiving to be held every year on the second Monday in October.
– Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in Canada, except in PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
– Although Thanksgiving falls on a Monday, many have their dinner and family get-togethers on the Sunday.
– While it is widely believed eating turkey makes you sleepy, many experts believe it is actually the carbohydrates that are part of the Thanksgiving meal that causes you to feel tired.
– Turducken is fast becoming a popular alternative to turkey on Thanksgiving, as it gives you the best of three worlds, turkey, duck, and chicken all baked together.
– There are 80 cranberry farms in B.C. with many destined for the Thanksgiving table, and while it is doubtful cranberries were served at the first Thanksgiving meals, the indigenous people used them for cooking and dyeing and introduced them to the pilgrims.
– While pumpkins are a staple of many Canadian Thanksgiving meals as well, they also originated with indigenous people and it is not known if they were present at the first Thanksgiving meals. However, there are recipes for pumpkin pie that date back to the 1650s.
– Canadians consumed 145.5 million kg of turkey in 2010, with 3.1 million whole turkeys purchased last year for Thanksgiving. This was about 30 per cent of all whole turkeys sold during the year according to the Turkey Farmers of Canada.