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Thanksgiving in Canada

Canada observes an annual general day of thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. In origin thanksgivings are quite simply days set aside, either locally, or on a more official level, to give thanks for propitious recent events or spans of time. They were often connected with good harvests, although other, more specific reasons for giving thanks were proclaimed as well.

According to the Canadian government, the first specific thanksgiving was proclaimed for 15 April 1872 in order to give thanks for the recovery from illness of His Royal Highness Prince Albert Edward The Prince of Wales (later His Majesty King Edward VII).

The next known thanksgiving was in 1879, when a Thursday in November was chosen for observance. This practice continued until 1898. From 1899 to 1907 it was almost always observed on a Thursday in October. From 1908 until 1921 the observance was held on a Monday in October.

The Armistice Day Act 1921 provided that Thanksgiving would be observed on the Monday of the week of November 11. This provision was repealed by a 1931 act amending the 1921 Act. Consequently, despite what Wikipedia would have one believe, the observance of Thanksgiving in Canada ceased to be governed by statute at that time and henceforth was controlled by royal proclamation issued by Governor-General, and not by Parliament.

Until 1957, a proclamation would be issued annually designating usually the second Monday in October for the observance. This was made permanent by the proclamation displayed at the right.

References

Canada Gazette:
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/canada-gazette/093/001060-119.01-e.php?image_id_nbr=407072&document_id_nbr=10234&f=p&PHPSESSID=itircaoi8ia79bcaf5tevr3q11

Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day:
www.pch.gc.ca/eng/1359131613965/1359131724811

Armistice Day linked with Thanksgiving Day:
www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/remember/thanksgivings_e.shtml

Wikipedia's Thanksgiving (Canada) entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Thanksgiving

 

 

Proclamation setting Canadian Thanksgiving as the second Monday in October