Thanksgiving in Canada -- What gives?
Most of us will have noticed that Canadian Thanksgiving comes well in advance of our neighbours to the south, and for all the predictable reasons: colder climate, earlier harvest, and that persistant urge to accomplish something (anything) before "they" do. But the history of our Thanksgiving is stuffed with surprises.
We did actually have the FIRST Thanksgiving, a full 43 years before the pilgims at Plymouth Rock, but, in true Canadian fashion, there was something wrong with it. That first North American Thanksgiving would have been "celebrated" in sub-zero temperatures on a barren, windswept moonscape by a muttering, mutinous crowd wondering whether "the chief" had all his marbles.
In 1576, Sir Martin Frobisher set out to find the Spice Islands. He landed instead on Baffin Island. The complete absence of trees and a pitiless terrain of unrelieved rock and permafrost barely dampened his determination to establish the first English settlement in North America. Not yet disabused of his perennial optimism, he spent two years mining "gold ore". When it was well and duly hauled back to England, it assayed out as iron pyrite. Fool's Gold.
By 1710 we were back on track with this Thanksgiving thing. Records at Port Royal, Nova Scotia, note an October 10 thanksgiving celebration to mark the return of the town to the English. In 1763, Halifax celebrated the end of the Seven Years War with a similar ceremony.
In 1879, Parliament formally declared November 6 as a day of Thanksgiving, and so it remained until after the Armistice of WWI, when Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day would have conflicted thematically during the same week.
When Thanksgiving was assigned to its present second Monday in October, former Ontario Premier E.C. Drury, head of the United Farmers of Ontario, decried the move as a ploy by city-dwellers to move a farmer's holiday "up" the calendar so they could enjoy a long weekend while the weather was likely to still be fine (at the farmer's expense). Canadian - eh?
YAAAAAAY!! CANADA :) :)
I think we all know the history on American Thanksgiving but a little info anyway!
I'm going to post some links and then some info :)
Some Myths vs Facts:
and the the declaration of thanksgiving to make it an official day of Thanksgiving:
Thanksgiving ProclamationState of New-Hampshire. In Committee of Safety, Exeter, November 1, 1782 : Ordered, that the following proclamation for a general thanksgiving on the twenty-eighth day of November instant, received from the honorable Continental Congress, be forthwith printed ...
STATE OF NEW-HAMPSHIRE.
IN COMMITTEE of SAFETY,
EXETER, November 1, 1782.
THAT the following Proclamation for a general THANKSGIVING on the twenty-eighth day of November [instant?], received from the honorable Continental Congress, be forthwith printed, and sent to the several worshipping Assemblies in this State, to whom it is recommended religiously to observe said day, and to abstain from all servile labour thereon.
M. WEARE, President.
By the United States in Congress assembled.
IT being the indispensable duty of all Nations, not only to offer up their supplications to ALMIGHTY GOD, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his providence in their behalf: Therefore the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of divine goodness to these States, in the course of the important conflict in which they have been so long engaged; the present happy and promising state of public affairs; and the events of the war, in the course of the year now drawing to a close; particularly the harmony of the public Councils, which is so necessary to the success of the public cause; the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their Allies, notwithstanding the artful and unwearied attempts of the common enemy to divide them; the success of the arms of the United States, and those of their Allies, and the acknowledgment of their independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and lasting advantage to these States:----- Do hereby recommend to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe, and request the several States to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of THURSDAY the twenty-eight day of NOVEMBER next, as a day of solemn THANKSGIVING to GOD for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify to their gratitude to GOD for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience of his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.
Done in Congress, at Philadelphia, the eleventh day of October, in the year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and of our Sovereignty and Independence, the seventh.
JOHN HANSON, President.
Charles Thomson, Secretary.
PRINTED AT EXETER.
Proclamation and image courtesy of The Library of Congress.
For those of you who want to here is the basic link to the website and you are welcome do spend more time researching :)
All I'm going to say is Thanksgiving in November is really weird!!!!!!!