Prepare for Canadian Thanksgiving as a Newcomer

Prepare for Canadian Thanksgiving as a Newcomer
If this is your first year in Canada, you could be wondering why you see so many turkey-themed items in the store or why there seems to be an abundance of pumpkin-flavoured items stocking the shelves. That’s because Canadians gather every second Monday of October to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. A time when friends and family gather and celebrate what they are grateful for while also enjoying a lavish meal of turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. The holiday is as true to its name. It’s a day meant to be spent by giving thanks. It is a time of transition when the harvest season is over, a new school year has started, and Canada’s notorious winters are approaching. 

What is Canadian Thanksgiving? 

Giving thanks to one another has been a tradition in North America for many years.In 1578, the English explorer Martin Frobisher and his crew gave thanks when they arrived in then Newfoundland by dining on salt beef, biscuits, and mushy peas. This incident is now accepted as the first “Canadian” thanksgiving, 43 years before America. However, modern Thanksgiving concepts influenced Canada’s neighbour. Foods that are “traditional” Thanksgiving items – turkey, squash, and pumpkin – were introduced to citizens of Halifax in the 1750s. In 1957, The Canadian Parliament declared that Canadian Thanksgiving would be held on the second Monday of October every year.
“A day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed,” Canadian Parliament. 
Two sentiments shared worldwide since mankind first planted its food are: 
  • Marking the end of the harvest.
  • Preparing for the winter ahead is.
Take, for example, China as it celebrates the Mid-Autumn festival or people of the Jewish faith who celebrate Sukkot. Like any holiday, Canadian Thanksgiving is considered a statutory holiday, which means many businesses and stores in Canada will be closed for the day. This means staff and citizens of Canada get to enjoy a long weekend in October. 

How to Celebrate? 

There is no set way to celebrate in Canada, and every family or friend has their own traditions they follow. Thanksgiving is a universal holiday because it doesn’t discriminate according to gender or religion. Thanksgiving is for everyone. Our team at mana immigration celebrates Thanksgiving and shared a few thoughts on what they are thankful for this year. Anrol Cruz, Director of Marketing, said he’s thankful for “the gifts of friendship and family here at mana immigration, and [his] classmates at Centennial College.” Since moving to Canada, Cruz said these people in his life had made the move easier and more fun. Jasmine Huynh, Head of Vietnam Market, said she’s thankful to her family for all their love and support. She also thanks them for understanding when “mommy is away’ recently because of her busy schedule. 

What to Cook for your Canadian Thanksgiving? 

To top off the holiday, Canadian Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a homemade feast of seasonal vegetables, roasted turkey, and a sweet pumpkin pie for dessert. Though there isn’t a rulebook on what to cook for the day, here are the most common types of food that are shared and made during the holiday: 
Roast Turkey
The signature dish for many Canadian families, the turkey is the main protein delivered this holiday. The bird roasts in the oven for two to four hours (depending on whether the turkey’s thawed or not). 
Stuffing
With the turkey comes the stuffing. This is usually a mixture of breadcrumbs, seasonings and onions. Its name comes from the act of how you cook it. You “stuff” the bird with the mixture and have it cook alongside the turkey. 
Mashed Potatoes
A simple side you can add to your turkey, consisting of mashing cooked potatoes with butter and cream until it’s a smooth consistency. It’s like eating fluffy potatoes. 
Green Bean Casserole
An all-in-one dish type of side. It’s easy to make and enjoyed by everyone (that likes green beans and mushrooms). Simply add green beans, a can of mushroom soup, onion and butter to a pan and bake in the oven. 
Sweet Potato
Just like baked potatoes, this time with a twist! Sweet potatoes are a vegetable had in the fall and complement the turkey. It also helps to add colour to your plate. 
Gravy
When your main bird is done roasting, the bottom of the pan will be filled with excess juice. Do not waste this. Instead, make it into a thick and luscious gravy by adding cream and a thickener of your choosing. And don’t hold back when enjoying; smother your plate with it. 
Cranberry Sauce
The combination of salty meets sweet is why cranberry sauce is an added side to the Thanksgiving table. A nice sweet-tart sauce (you can make homemade or buy in a can) that makes the turkey’s flavour intensify. 
Pumpkin Pie
Last, but certainly not least, is the famous pumpkin pie. All enjoy this squashed-based dessert. It has hints of butter from the crust, a soft custard-like filling, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped with soft whip cream. Is this your first time celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving? Remember, it doesn’t matter which country you immigrated from; here in Canada, the essential part of celebrating is spending time with the people you love the most.Happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at mana immigration. 
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Ross Lopes
Ross Lopes

Communications Enthusiast. Studied at Humber College, Canada, receiving an Advanced Diploma with Honours in Journalism and a Bachelor's Degree with Honours in Public Relations.

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