What's the difference between Canadian Thanksgiving vs. American Thanksgiving?

What's the difference between Canadian Thanksgiving vs. American Thanksgiving?

October is an amazing time of year. Beautiful fall days are highlighted by changing colours and crisp morning weather. October, for Canadians, also features a very special holiday: Thanksgiving!

People often wonder, what is the difference between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving?

There are 3 main differences between Canadian and American Thanksgiving:

1. The date

Canadian Thanksgiving is on the second Sunday in October, while American Thanksgiving runs on the 4th Thursday in November

This is the first obvious difference, but why are the dates different?

Many people point to the fact that in Canada, due to the cooler climate, The fall harvest often begins a lot sooner. Thanksgiving in Canada was first a celebration of the fall harvest, so it only makes sense that it would be celebrated earlier in the year.

2.  Canadian Thanksgiving is not strongly associated with shopping

American thanksgiving runs near the end of November, and advertising companies have dubbed this the "beginning of the holiday shopping season". The tradition of "Black Friday" was born from this idea and usually includes stores offering heavy discounts on merchandise. In recent years, this trend has trickled into Canada, where you can find most major retailers offering some sort of special during the same dates as the American Thanksgiving.

3. Different ways of celebration

Canadian families typically take advantage of the long weekend. While a turkey dinner is in order, it doesn't necessarily take place on Thanksgiving Day. Often times families will have the dinner on the Sunday, while leaving the holiday Monday open for travel. Americans will have usually have Thanksgiving Thursday off work, and are highly likely to take the Friday off as well. This opens the door for a 4 day weekend and entices people to travel more to see family.

There are also many similarities, including the food, football games, and your crazy uncle Larry.

During this special time of year, don't for forget about the true meaning of Thanksgiving: to express gratitude towards everything and everyone that makes your life special.

So from all of the Earth Smart team, we wish you a happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!


Article was adapted from Inside Vancouver