Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Do Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving?

Who's asking: Therese Schulz's teacher, Gilching, Germany

But of course. In fact, Canadians will tell you that they have been celebrating Thanksgiving in North American longer than we U.S. residents have been; explorer Martin Frobisher celebrated the first Thanksgiving in Newfoundland in 1578.

As in the United States, Thanksgiving in Canada is a harvest festival. Their harvest is earlier than ours, so their Thanksgiving is, too. Canada first declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1879, fixing the date as November 6. After the first World War, Thanksgiving and Armistice Day (Veterans' Day/Remembrance Day/November 11) fell in the same week, so the Canadian Parliament voted in 1957 to move Thanksgiving to the second Monday in October. On this date, it usually falls on the same day as the U.S. observance of Columbus Day, but this is just a coincidence.

Because Canadian Thanksgiving does not mark the beginning of any shopping season, it's a little less commercial than its American counterpart; Canadians do, however, celebrate with turkey, stuffing and various root vegetables. And beer. Lots of beer.

My iPod Shuffle got corrupted somehow, which sent me into a panic until I downloaded a repair utility from the Apple Gods. Thanks, Apple!

Five Random Songs:

"I'm All Right," Madeleine Peyroux. Madeleine Peyroux is what Norah Jones wishes she sounded like. And she's still only in her early 30s. She deserves to be a huge, huge star.

"Ode to Isis," ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. The overture to their album Worlds Apart -- it is epic and apocalyptic and very short, so it's weird to hear it out of context.

"The Long Black Veil," Mick Jagger with The Chieftains. A great version of a classic song, though after hearing Val McDermid sing it at Bouchercon, I'm fascinated at the idea of recasting this as a tale of a doomed lesbian affair.

"Might Tell You Tonight," Scissor Sisters. The Scissor Sisters distill everything that was good about popular music in the 1970s, and I say that with no trace of sarcasm. You cannot listen to this song without feeling just a little bouncier.

"You're My Best Friend," Queen. Speaking of the best of the '70s...


Claire said...

Well, "celebrate" is a strong word. A lot of families, from what I've been told, don't even bother with the big meal; it's just a long weekend for them. My Canadian friends are a little baffled by how seriously we take our Thanksgiving.

AnswerGirl said...

Canadians never seem to get as worked up about things as Americans -- except for hockey. And beer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I'm printing it out for Therese to take to school.