Canadians and Americans both have Thanksgiving each year and some of the traditions are the same, like the traditional turkey dinner and pumpkin pie for dessert. However, each country celebrates them in a different month and there are a few other differences as well.
Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October, so it’s out of the gate first. However, the country also apparently was first, period, when it came to Thanksgiving, with the original celebration taking place in 1578. That’s about four decades before America decided to join in the fun.
However, unlike America, the Thanksgiving holiday is not statutory throughout the entire country: Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador all leave it up to individual employers as to whether employees will get the day off. While they do get the holiday, many people in Quebec don’t bother to observe it, preferring traditions more directly related to their own culture and traditions.
One major difference between the two countries is the shopping angle. America celebrates Thanksgiving in the last week of November and that includes the infamous Black Friday shopping spree where many companies offer major discounts for consumers. There is no Thanksgiving equivalent to this in Canada. However, the ongoing popularity of Black Friday (and, more recently, Cyber Monday) down south has prompted some Canadian retailers to follow suit during that same week. Hopefully, we won’t suffer the same degree of pandemonium at our stores.
One advantage Canadians enjoy here is the weather. While it can often be colder in the Great White North, the fact that our Thanksgiving occurs almost two months earlier means there is also a much better chance that our citizens can plan outdoor activities on their day off. Depending on their state, Americans are more likely to find themselves shoveling snow.