Thanksgiving in Canada

When is Thanksgiving in Canada?

Thanksgiving in Canada is on October 9, 2023. It falls on Monday.

How many days until Thanksgiving in Canada?

There are 197 Days left until Thanksgiving in Canada.

Is Thanksgiving a public holiday in Canada?

Thanksgiving Day is an annual Canadian holiday that is observed every second Monday of October. While other provinces designated it as an optional holiday, Thanksgiving is declared an official public holiday (also known as statutory holiday) in most part of the Canadian provinces and territories including Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.

Thanksgiving's Origin

The origins of Thanksgiving in Canada can be traced back to the European’s tradition of celebrating the year’s harvest. Traditionally, this day is celebrated by showing gratitude and appreciation for the bountiful harvest and abundant fortunes in the previous year. It’s a festival of thanks which influenced how Thanksgiving is currently observed in most parts of the world.

First national Thanksgiving celebration in Canada

The first celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving after the Confederation was more of a civic holiday rather than a religious one. It was a celebration for the recovery of the Prince of Wales from his illness. Over the years, the celebration was taken as a day to give thanks and has eventually become an annual occasion. Thanksgiving Day was then officially declared a national holiday for the first time in Canada on the 6th of November on year 1879.

When did Thanksgiving become a statutory holiday in Canada?

On year 1957, Thanksgiving was declared an official statutory holiday in all provinces and territories in Canada – with the exception of the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, where it was only declared as an optional holiday. Since the said year, this holiday has been set up to occur on the second Monday of October each year and remained unchanged ever since. Prior to that, Canadian Thanksgiving has been observed in varying dates.

Thanksgiving's Day Family Traditions

Since Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday for most of the Canadian provinces and territories, many business organizations are closed for the day. Majority of the employees are given a day off and likely spend the holiday with their families. This holiday is also referred to as Canadian Thanksgiving – to differentiate it from American Thanksgiving. It’s a day to give thanks and celebrate the blessings received in life.

For most Canadians, Thanksgiving means enjoying a large family meal and attending church services. Some may also watch TV for football or hockey games as part of their annual Thanksgiving celebration.

Thanksgiving meal

For many people, Thanksgiving not only means spending quality time with family and friends but also filling their stomachs with the delicious dishes prepared for this occasion. Most Canadians usually celebrate this day together with their families, hence, far away family members may travel back home to celebrate Thanksgiving together. They enjoy this day over special Thanksgiving meal which are held either on Monday (the holiday itself) or the Thanksgiving weekend (Saturday or Sunday), depending on the family members’ availability.

Canadian Thanksgiving meal is pretty much similar to that of the American Thanksgiving meal. A large roasted turkey is also the main highlight served at the table. Besides turkey, other traditional dishes served include stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet corn, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pies, maple pies, apple pies, baked ham, and various kinds of autumn vegetables. Some families may also serve regional dishes and desserts like butter tarts, Jiggs dinner (a boiled meat dish), salmon, and many others.

Attending church services

Religious practices are also observed in Canada during the celebration of Thanksgiving. Some Canadians find it customary to attend church services held on this day along with their friends and family. Several churches are also seen setting up decorations like wheat sheaves, pumpkins, corn, and other variety of harvest bounty to mark the occasion. For many, attending mass and sharing a Thanksgiving meal with loved ones is the best way to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

Dates of Observance for Thanksgiving
Year Date Day Holiday
2023 October 09 Monday Thanksgiving
2024 October 14 Monday Thanksgiving
2025 October 13 Monday Thanksgiving
2026 October 12 Monday Thanksgiving
2027 October 11 Monday Thanksgiving
2028 October 09 Monday Thanksgiving
Upcoming Canada Holidays
Holiday Date
Good Friday April 07, 2023
Easter Sunday April 09, 2023
Mother's Day May 14, 2023