Monday, October 13, 2014

Thansk* (for Thanks*)

I’m late on my blogging this week due to having stuffed myself into a sleepy haze on Monday – Canada’s Thanksgiving Day.

This got me wondering about the history of Thanksgiving in Canada, and I stumbled across a little document on the Canadian Heritage website.

It turns out, Thanksgiving first occurred here in 1799—before we were even officially a country. There was no set date until 1957, when a proclamation determined it would be the second Monday in October.

What really tickled me, however, was seeing the reasons proclaimed for holding Thanksgiving, which were often thanks for an abundant harvest, but sometimes differed from year to year. On Wednesday, 6 Feb. 1833, it was held for “Cessation of cholera,” and on Monday, 15 April 1872, “For restoration to health of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.”

And then there’s Thursday, 21 Apr. 1814, when Thanksgiving was held “For glorious victories over our enemies.” Looks like we didn’t always live up to the stereotype of friendly, polite, meek Canadians.

Leanne Olson

(Wild turkey photo by Gary M. Stoltz, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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