Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving – Harvest festivals have been celebrated around the world for as long as people have been practising agriculture.  Thanksgiving, our own Canadian version of the annual harvest festival, is essentially an import from the United States, having been brought to British North America by Loyalists during and after the American Revolution.  Thanksgiving Day became an official annual observance in Canada in 1879, twelve years after Confederation, although the date and focus of the occasion varied over the next several decades.  From 1921 to 1930, Thanksgiving was celebrated on the same day as Armistice Day (commemorating the end of World War 1), on the Monday in the week of the 11th of November.  In 1931, the two observances were separated, Armistice Day being renamed Remembrance Day, and Thanksgiving typically (although not always) being celebrated on the second Monday of October.  Finally, in 1957, the date of Thanksgiving was fixed on the second Monday of October, and the purpose of the day was proclaimed by Parliament as being “a day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed”.