October 12, 2014

Thanksgiving Traditions - Canadians Got the Date Right!

Do you remember your childhood Thanksgiving Days? What was the traditional Thanksgiving Day for you? What is it now? Has it changed very much? 

Thanksgiving Traditions - Canadians Got the Date Right!
I don't remember anything special about Thanksgiving as a child except we got to eat Turkey with stuffing that my dad made. It was so good! There were four of us kids and only 2 drumsticks and we all wanted that prized piece of meat. 

We also got my mother's horrid mashed potatoes. Her version was to peel and boil potatoes then mash them roughly with a fork - no butter, no milk. They were dry as a bone and I used to smother mine with ketchup just to swallow them! 

Why am I talking about Thanksgiving? Because it is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Tomorrow I am cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal for 15 people. That's a very small and nice number for me to manage! 

We are having Turkey with stuffing and gravy, Mashed potatoes (the real kind, not my mother's), Roasted Root Vegetables, Stir Fried Broccoli, Meatballs in Marinara Sauce, Macaroni & Cheese (the grandkids love this), Butternut Squash Soup, and Fresh Homemade Bread. I'm also including Spider Eggs for the grandkids - hardboiled eggs with cut up black olives on top to look like spiders. Dessert is an assortment - two kinds of pie which my guests are bringing, vanilla ice cream with chocolate and whip cream, and my homemade pumpkin bread.

What will you be doing this Thanksgiving?


Nancy said...

Happy Thanksgiving. Your feast sounds delicious!

Anonymous said...

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving.

BTW, what lead you to believe much less say "Canadians Got the Date Right!"??

A Yank in Sydney Australia than celebrates Thanksgiving properly on fourth Thursday of November.
2014OC13 1030 Sydney Australia

Linda Newhouse said...

@ Larry - Whether or not the Canadians got the Thanksgiving date right, they sure got closer then the US does. Thanksgiving is suppose to be a harvest feast. Note Wikipedia says "[Thanksgiving] was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621." I'm not a farmer and I don't know when the harvest really ends, but I think it is a lot closer to mid-October than to late-November.

However, Wikipedia goes on to state that "Thanksgiving" celebrations were held at other times to give thanks for other major events. One such event was the defeat of the British at Saratoga, at the end of the Revolutionary War - December 18, 1777.

At first Thanksgiving was not an annual event in the US. It was proclaimed by various presidents in various years on various dates.

President Lincoln declared a Thanksgiving on the final Thursday in November 1863. It was celebrated annually thereafter.

1939 had five Thursdays so President Roosevelt declared the 4th Thursday in November as Thanksgiving. The tradition after that was to celebrate Thanksgiving on the next to last Thursday of November.

"With the country still in the midst of The Great Depression, Roosevelt thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas.", per Wikipedia.

In 1957, Canadian "Thanksgiving" was proclaimed, by the Parliament, to "[occur] on the second Monday in October, [it] is an annual Canadian holiday which celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year." Again thanks to Wikipedia.

Further Wikipedia says of the Canadian Thanksgiving, "As a liturgical festival, Thanksgiving corresponds to the English and continental European Harvest festival, with churches decorated with cornucopias, pumpkins, corn, wheat sheaves, and other harvest bounty, English and European harvest hymns sung on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, and scriptural selections drawn from biblical stories relating to the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot."

Who got the date right? It depends on your perspective.

Is it a harvest festival or a kickoff to the holiday season? I prefer to think of it as a harvest festival.