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Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, so I thought I would do a little research (on Wikipedia, of course) into Thanksgiving. While I encourage everyone to go read about it themselves, if you just want some fun trivia highlights, here they are:

As is fairly common knowledge, Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October, while in the United States it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

While the first Thanksgiving celebration is popularly regarded as being put on by the pilgrims at Plymouth, the first recorded Thanksgiving celebration in America actually took place in Florida in 1565, put on by the Spanish.

Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday everywhere in Canada except New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island.

The timing of Thanksgiving in Canada was not fixed to October until 1957. Prior to World War I (starting in 1879), it moved around from year to year and was themed based on something that everyone should be thankful for. After World War I it was observed in whatever week contained November 11 (Armistice Day, later renamed Remembrance Day).

Grenada also celebrates a Thanksgiving Day, but for a completely different reason. Thanksgiving in Grenada is celebrated on October 25th and marks the invasion of the island by a US-led force in 1983 in response to a military coup.

If you are waiting until Monday evening to celebrate your Thanksgiving (or if you are American and won't celebrate until November), now you have some trivia to evoke awe and adulation from your relatives with between bites of turkey and mashed potatoes.