Lauren Bird – Staff Writer
Due to the large number of Canadians on Dordt’s campus, Canadian Thanksgiving is acknowledged and celebrated by many in the student body. However, many American students have no idea what Canadian Thanksgiving is all about.
When asked, many Canadians will tell you that their Thanksgiving is exactly the same as Thanksgiving in the United States, the only difference being that it’s on a different day. In 1957, the Parliament of Canada proclaimed, “A day of general Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the second Monday in October.”
Sam De Groot, a Dordt senior who recently married a Canadian, gets to celebrate two Thanksgivings.
“Canadian Thanksgiving falls on a date that makes more sense than Thanksgiving in the U.S. It’s appropriate to the harvest time, which is what Thanksgiving is celebrating,” said De Groot.
Thanksgiving in the United States is based around the story of the pilgrims and Native Americans joining together in peace and thanks to share a meal. It turns out that Canadian Thanksgiving is based around a similar story. The history of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced back to Martin Frobisher, an Englishman, and Samuel de Champlain, a Frenchman. Both men sailed to Canada and are said to have feasted with the natives they met.
Mikaela Kiers, a sophomore from British Columbia, says that many Canadians don’t know the history behind their Thanksgiving.
“Canada isn’t as old as the United States. We don’t spend as much time learning history in school as Americans do, which is why we don’t know as much as Americans,” said Kiers.
Since the two Thanksgivings are mostly the same, there isn’t much to know. Kiers says that her Thanksgiving traditions are very similar to the traditions of her American friends.
“Families and friends get together, we eat stuffing, turkey and pie,” said Kiers. “Our church has this tree with cut out paper leaves on it, we write what we’re thankful for on them and the pastor reads them out loud.”
Many Americans who don’t know what Canadian Thanksgiving is all about tend to assume it’s something vastly different than American Thanksgiving. But it turns out that Canadians watch football, eat turkey and give thanks for all God has blessed them with, just as Americans do. The only difference is that this holiday is right in the middle of harvest time.