How was football associated with Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving in America vs. Thanksgiving in Canada

In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, but in Canada it is celebrated on the second Monday in October (Columbus Day in the US). While both Americans and Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, there are several differences between the traditions and customs in the two neighboring countries.

Comparison table

Thanksgiving in America vs. Thanksgiving in Canada Comparison Chart
Thanksgiving in AmericaThanksgiving Day in Canada
Celebration date4th Thursday in November2nd Monday in October
weekendFour day weekend (Thursday - Sunday)Three-day weekend (Saturday - Monday)
importanceGrateful for the grace of God and the generosity of the Native AmericansThank god for a good harvest
National holidayYes - Thanksgiving is observed in all 50 states in the United States.No - optional in Atlantic Canada (NL, NS, NB, PEI)
OriginsThanksgiving was founded to give religious attention to all members of the community, to thank God for a common purpose. Historical reasons for joint thanksgiving are: 1541 thanksgiving after the expedition of Francisco VásqueWhat began as a religious festival of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest has grown into one of the most important weekends on the Canadian calendar.

Content: Thanksgiving in America vs. Thanksgiving in Canada

  • 1 Origin and meaning
  • 2 Thanksgiving Day
  • 3 differences in tradition
    • 3.1 Travel and family
    • 3.2 Thanksgiving meal
    • 3.3 Shopping
    • 3.4 Parades and football
  • 4 references

Origin and meaning

Thanksgiving in Canada was created solely as a harvest festival. On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed:

A day of general thanks to Almighty God for the abundant harvest that Canada has been blessed with - the 2nd Monday in October.

The English researcher Martin Frobisher hosted the first Canadian Thanksgiving. It was recorded in what is now Newfoundland during his expedition's attempts to find the Northwest Passage to the Orient in 1578 and marked their safe arrival in the New World. So it was not held to celebrate a rich harvest. Over time, French, Scottish, and German immigrants to Canada added some of their traditions to the harvest festival. American traditions like the turkey were added by the United Empire Loyalists around the time of the American Revolution.

The first American Thanksgiving Day was celebrated 43 years later, in 1621, on the grounds of the Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts. The Wampanoag Indians helped the pilgrims who had arrived in Massachusetts cultivate land and fish and save them from starvation. At harvest time in the winter of 1621 they were very grateful that they had a good harvest to eat in the coming winter. They thanked God and the wampanoags for teaching them how to grow crops. The Thanksgiving holiday became a national phenomenon during the Civil War and a real national holiday during the FDR presidency. This article in the New York Times details the history of Thanksgiving and its various proponents, from Sara Hale to George Washington to Lincoln to Franklin Roosevelt.

Thanksgiving date

Thanksgiving was observed on different dates in the United States, but by the mid-20th century, most states celebrated the last Thursday in November. On December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill making Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth Thursday of November. The day after Thanksgiving is also a public holiday, so Thanksgiving is always a 4-day weekend for Americans.

In Canada, too, the festival had no set date until the late 19th century, when it usually took place on November 6th. In 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed Thanksgiving on the 2nd Monday in October. Thanksgiving is a 3 day weekend in Canada.

Differences in traditions

Thanksgiving traditions are common in Canada and the United States.

Travel and family

In both countries, Thanksgiving is a time to get together with family. In the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is the busiest travel day of the year. Some Canadians use the 3-day vacation for a weekend trip.

Thanksgiving meal

A traditional Thanksgiving meal

During the American Revolution, Americans loyal to England moved to Canada and brought Thanksgiving customs and practices with them. There are many similarities between the Thanksgiving meals in both countries.

A traditional American Thanksgiving meal is turkey (Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as "Turkey Day"). The meal is usually a feast for 5-10 people as families (and friends) often get together on this day. Stuffed mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, other autumn vegetables, and pumpkin pie are often associated with Thanksgiving dinner.

There are some there Differences Between Canadian And American Recipes For Thanksgiving. For example,

  • Canadian pumpkin pie is flavorful, made with ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon, while American pumpkin pie is usually sweet and contains custard.
  • Canadians bake their sweet potatoes or mash them into a puree, while Americans add butter, sugar, and spices to make a marshmallow casserole.
  • Canadians use breadcrumbs or rice for stuffing, and in the US, cornbread-based stuffing is made in the southern states. Oysters are used in the eastern states and the northern states use rice like Canadians.
  • Traditionally, Canadians serve wheat rolls for Thanksgiving dinner, while Americans tend to serve corn rolls, muffins, or sliced ​​breads.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal is Thursday dinner in the US, while in Canada the festival can be on either Sunday or Monday.


In America, the day after Thanksgiving is marked by heavy shopping, encouraged by several great deals and discounts offered by retailers. Shops usually open early on Friday mornings and people line up at night to be the first to walk through the door when the shops open so they can get the best "doorbuster" deals. The day is called "Black Friday" because it is usually the day retail stores go from red to black (turning profits) for the year. The Monday after Thanksgiving is called "Cyber ​​Monday" because it is the day that many people shop online.

Parades and football

Thanksgiving in the United States is marked by large parades, the Macy's Parade being the most famous. Parades in Canada are smaller and local. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Parade serves as the only Thanksgiving Day parade in Canada and is broadcast nationwide. Canadians enjoy football on Thanksgiving Day too - the Canadian Football League is hosting a televised double header known as the "Thanksgiving Day Classic."


  • Wikipedia: Thanksgiving Day
  • Wikipedia: Thanksgiving (Canada)
  • Canadian life