When is Thanksgiving 2019 in Canada? All you need to know about the public holiday

Thanksgiving table with roasted turkey, sliced ham and side dishes
Thanksgiving table with roasted turkey, sliced ham and side dishes (Getty)

Thanksgiving in Canada is one of the flagship events of the year − where people can spend quality time with family and friends.

Held in October each year, the day is an official statutory holiday for most Canadians. The provinces that do not include Thanksgiving as a public holiday are P.E.I, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

It is common practice that a Thanksgiving dinner includes roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with a variety of gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and vegetables.

Many municipalities often hold parades, with local performers entertaining crowds.

When is Thanksgiving 2019?

Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday of October. In 2019, Thanksgiving is on Monday, October 14.

The U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving later in the year, on the fourth Thursday in November. In 2019, that falls on Thursday, November 28.

When was the first Thanksgiving?

The first known Thanksgiving by Europeans in North America was held by Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew in the Easter Arctic in 1578.

Canada’s first official Thanksgiving was held on November 6, 1859.

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?

The first Thanksgiving, organised by leaders of the Protestant clergy, was intended to recognise the “public and solemn” of God’s mercies.

When Canada’s first Thanksgiving holiday after Confederation was held on April 5, 1872, it was a civic holiday rather than a religious one to mark the recovery of the Prince of Wales from a serious illness.

After World War I, it was established that thanksgiving would be celebrated on the Monday of the second week of November but, ten years later, both thanksgiving and Armistice Day became independent public holidays.

From 1931 to 1957, the date was set by proclamation, generally falling on the second Monday in October, except for 1935, when it was moved due to a general election.

In 1957, Parliament fixed Thanksgiving as the second Monday in October.

The original idea is to give thanks for the past harvest season but for many Canadian families the tradition has changed over time and the focus is now to get together with family and eat a large turkey dinner.