Wow, it is already October again and we celebrate Thanksgiving. This year clearly held some unpleasant surprises in hand for us, but today we want to be thankful for all the good and precious things and people in our lives. We, at TROIKA Canada, are very thankful for our devoted business partners, followers and customers. The whole team wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by your loved ones with plenty of good food! 😊
As a little treat for you, we collected some interesting historical facts about the beginnings of the Canadian, American, as well as German Thanksgiving celebration below, enjoy!
Thanksgiving in the United States & Canada
Maybe surprising, but Canada’s first Thanksgiving celebration actually predates America’s—by more than 40 years. In 1578, an expedition led by the English navigator Martin Frobisher held a ceremony in what is now Nunavut, giving thanks for the safety of their fleet. This is considered the first-ever Thanksgiving celebration in North America, though in fact the First Nations and Native Americans had been holding harvest festivals long before Europeans arrived.
Loyalists who moved to Canada during the Revolutionary War introduced turkey, along with some other customs from the American Thanksgiving. Canada’s Parliament formally established a national Thanksgiving Day in 1879, but as of 1957, the date was changed to the second Monday in October.
Thanksgiving traditions in Canada look very similar to American ones: Friends and family gather around the table to enjoy each other’s company, eat a hearty plate of turkey and pumpkin pie, and share what they’re thankful for from the past year. Therefore, Thanksgiving in the USA is very similar to the Canadian holiday, except for its date. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, kicking off a four-day long weekend.
American Thanksgiving can be traced back to the landing of the Mayflower in 1620. After sailing across the Atlantic, the Pilgrims from England found their early months in the New World difficult, but, with help from Native Americans, they were soon thriving. At the end of their first successful harvest, they invited the Native Americans to share a meal with them, as a gesture of thanks.
In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln eventually proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
Thanksgiving in Germany
The German equivalent of Thanksgiving is the “Erntedankfest” (“harvest festival of thanks”). This religious holiday often takes place on the first Sunday in October; Though rural areas take the harvest festival concept more literally, churches in German cities also join in on the celebration, giving thanks for the good fortune their congregations experienced that year. During a typical Erntedankfest, celebrants may carry an “Erntekrone” (“harvest crown”) of grains, fruit and flowers to the church in a solemn procession, and feast on such hearty fare as Masthühnchen (fattened-up chickens) or Kapaun (castrated roosters).