A Victorian Thanksgiving card
The first celebration of thanks held in Canada was in 1578 when the English explorer Martin Frobisher, who was looking for the Northwest passage, celebrated his safe landing. Later in the early 1600s and onwards, the French settlers celebrated autumn feasts giving thanks for the harvest, though there was no fixed date for this. It apparently was both a European and Native custom to hold these end of harvest feasts.
In the 1700s and 1800s thanksgiving feasts were held to celebrate everything from the 1763 English victory over the French in the Seven Years War, the uniting of Upper and Lower Canada in 1841 and the recovery of the Prince of Wales (who became Edward VII) from illness. Any excuse for a big meal I say!
It is also important to note that Americans also influenced Canadian Thanksgiving when many Loyalists moved to Canada after the American Revolution bringing their traditions with them.
In the early 1900s the government set the first Monday in November as Thanksgiving. With the celebration of the end of World War I, Armstice Day (later Remembrance Day) falling on November 11, many thought the two dates were too close. Thus in 1957 Canadian Thanksgiving was moved to the second Monday in October.
So above is my contribution to the Thanksgiving feast (I made two). Yes I did make the filling from scratch, though I did cheat on the pastry (thanks Pillsbury). It actually turned out pretty good! I have some extra pumpkin too, so I think I might make a loaf.
So what are your Thanksgiving/fall traditions?
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