October 5, 2023

Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday in Canada. Families and friends celebrate and enjoy a sizzling, delicious turkey in the beautiful fall weather! If you want to throw your own version of Canadian Thanksgiving as a newcomer, here are some interesting facts and details you should know to help you prepare for the holiday.

When is Thanksgiving Celebrated in Canada?

Unlike Americans, who celebrate Thanksgiving in November, Canada celebrates Thanksgiving in October. It is a public holiday and falls on the second Monday of October. While Monday is a holiday, many families have Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. The celebrations continue with friends and family over the entire long weekend!   

Why is Canadian Thanksgiving Celebrated?

Canadian Thanksgiving is traditionally about celebrating the harvest. In the official declaration of Thanksgiving, the Canadian government announced that it would be “a day of general thanksgiving to the almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” Today, the celebration is an opportunity to express gratitude for all the good things in life.

What Do Canadians Eat on Thanksgiving?

The main feature of the Thanksgiving feast is the turkey, which is stuffed and roasted slowly, and a delicious pumpkin pie. As it is a celebration of the harvest, various seasonal vegetables are also prepared, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and squashes. Depending on where you are in Canada, you may enjoy many other local delicacies. You can also infuse your culture and traditions and prepare different types of cuisines for Canadian Thanksgiving as a newcomer.

Canadian Thanksgiving Activities and Traditions

The main highlight of the holiday is the feast with friends and family. However, there will be many activities around the city for you to enjoy during Thanksgiving long weekend. As the weather is usually still pleasant and not too cold, people like to spend their time outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful fall colours. Thanksgiving is also an excellent opportunity to give back to the community by donating to food drives.

One of the main traditions of Thanksgiving is to gather around the dinner table and take turns saying what you are most thankful for over the past year. We can be grateful for all the good things in our lives, like our health, family and friends, and also for living in a country like Canada, which welcomes newcomers from all over the world. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and spending valuable time with your loved ones. It is a time of transition when the harvest season is over, a new school year has started, and Canada’s winters are approaching.

As a newcomer, there may be many Canadian holidays you may not be familiar with. Learning about these holidays, like Thanksgiving, can help you settle into Canadian culture. At Achēv, our Newcomer Services offer a wide range of services to help newcomers settle smoothly in Canada. Our Newcomer Information Centres are located across the Greater Toronto Area, including Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville. Contact us today to register for our free newcomer services.

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