This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving [which is not the same as the American one]. You might think that it is a peculiarly north american thing. You’d be both right and wrong.
Right, because we are in north america. And our big neighbour to the south has won all the publicity about their thanksgiving traditions. Thanks to them, you probably already know that thanksgiving is a celebration dating back to the pilgrim fathers and their feast on surviving their first year in the new world. They kindly invited the native americans to enjoy the feast too. So a very American festival that Americans now celebrate almost more than Christmas [Not the PC term – sorry].
You would be wrong, at least a little bit, Canada’s thanksgiving is rooted in European tradition. It started out as a harvest festival. Just like the harvest festivals that are still celebrate across Europe. And, despite our poor record in getting the message out, Canada started their tradition way earlier than our cousins to the south. In fact the first thanksgiving is said to have been in 1578 when Martin Frobisher marked his safe arrival in Newfoundland with a feast.
Canada continues to celebrate thanksgiving before the US does – ours is held on the 2nd Monday of October. The US holiday is the 4th Thursday in November.
It is still a feast of gluttony. Think Christmas dinner with pumpkin pie instead of Christmas pud.