Friday 10 October 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Soon Thanksgiving will be upon us. Thanksgiving Day in Canada has been a holiday on the second Monday of October since 1957. This is a time where families get together, share a good meal and offer thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes. 

Given that Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday and many have a day off work (with all schools, banks, post offices, many stores and other businesses closed) people often use this time to visit family and friends or have a get-together over a special meal. Traditionally, the meal includes roast turkey, garnished rack of lamb or glazed ham and seasonal produce, such as pumpkin, corn ears, and squash and pecan nuts. 

Since Thanksgiving Day in Canada has being linked to the European tradition of harvest festivals, the image that is often seen at this time of year is a cornucopia, or horn, filled with seasonal fruit and vegetables. The cornucopia, which means "Horn of Plenty" in Latin, was a symbol of bounty and plenty in ancient Greece. Turkeys, pumpkins, ears of corn and large displays of food are also used to symbolize Thanksgiving Day. 

It may interest you to know that the North American Indians had held ceremonies and festivals to celebrate the season and the completion and bounty of the harvest long before Europeans set foot on what is now considered Canada. Early European settlers continued the tradition of thanksgiving to offer thanks. The earliest example of this would be the ceremony the explorer Martin Frobisher held in 1578, after his survival of the long perilous journey in his quest to find a northern passage from Europe to Asia.

Refugees fleeing the civil war in the United States brought their brand of celebratory thanksgiving festival and since 1879 Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated, though the date varied and there was differing special theme each year. The “Blessings of the abundant harvest” however stuck for many years till, Queen Victoria's golden and diamond jubilees and King Edward VII's coronation formed the theme in subsequent years.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving Day

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