Yes, it is Columbus Day – and we are all very excited about that – but it is also Canada’s Thanksgiving and it seems like the neighborly thing to do to join them in the celebration.
And to ask, what is their Thanksgiving all aboot, anyway?
To learn a little more about our northern neighbor’s Turkey Day (Goose Day?), we’re approaching the topic with a little Q & A:
<strong>Question #1: Is Canada’s Thanksgiving an offshoot of the U.S. version?</strong>
<strong>NO. </strong>In point of fact, Canada celebrated Thanksgiving <em>before</em> the U.S. did (1578 vs. 1621), so if proof ever surfaced that they were related it would be that the Americans co-opted the Canadian tradition. As it stands, however, the two celebrations are unrelated, although they are both meant to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.
<strong>Question #2: Do Canadians eat goose instead of turkey, because … Canadian geese? </strong>
<strong>NO. </strong>Canadians that do use the holiday to gather for a feast (not all of them do) enjoy the same types of foods Americans do: turkey, ham, pies, potatoes and other fall harvest treats. They may dine on goose, but then again so might Americans. (BONUS: The Canadian goose is <em>not</em> the national bird of Canada, so it wouldn’t be like they were deep-frying a bald eagle, anyway.)
<strong>Question #3: Is Canadian Thanksgiving a statutory holiday (i.e., do they get the day off of work)?</strong>
<strong>KIND OF. </strong>From a statutory point of view, the Canadian Thanksgiving is observed in western and central provinces, but is optional in the eastern provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Labrador and Prince Edward Island; however, federally regulated institutions and businesses observe it in all provinces.
<strong>Question #4: Do Canadians have “Black Friday” around this time? </strong>
<strong>NO.</strong> Black Friday is a relatively new marketing concept that originated in the U.S., but the phraseology from which that idea stemmed – of “being in the black” in terms of profit – has permeated the retail industries of several countries for decades. Even so, Canadians do not use their Thanksgiving as a springboard into the holiday shopping season.
<strong>Question #5: Do Canadians have their own version of the Pilgrim story?</strong>
<strong>YES. </strong>That is to say, they have a history that involves the discovery of Canada by both English (first) and French (second) explorers that vaguely resemble the American story, insofar as it includes people sailing to North America and being wowed by the place. Buuuuut, that’s about where the similarities end.
<a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> would like to wish all of our Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving – and all of our American friends a Happy Columbus Day.