How much do you KNOW about Canadian Thanksgiving.

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How much do you KNOW about Canadian Thanksgiving.

Post by Doreen on October 10th 2008, 11:49 am

How Much Do You Know About the Canadian Thanksgiving?

True or False:

1. The Canadian Thanksgiving is about Pilgrims and a ship called 'The Mayflower'.

2. The famous English explorer, Martin Frobisher, conducted the first Thanksgiving service on the shores of Newfoundland in 1578.

3. The Canadian Thanksgiving is based on the Order of Good Cheer established by Samuel de Champlain.

If you answered 'false' to all three, you are correct!

First of all, the story of the Pilgrims, who came to Massachusetts aboard their ship, 'The Mayflower', is an American legend. It is a lovely story, but it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving in Canada.

Secondly, Martin Frobisher never set foot on the shores of Newfoundland! Robert Ruby, an editor of the Baltimore Sun and the author of "The Unknown Shore" a book about the voyages of Frobisher states:

" Martin Frobisher never set foot in Newfoundland, and the minister who travelled with the fleet in 1578 was the Rev. Robert Woolfall (not Wolf). He led prayers aboard the "Judith" when a storm in July separated the ship from the rest of Frobisher's fleet. And he did indeed lead a prayer when the surviving parts of the expedition reached Countess of Warwick Island, in August. According to the various logs and diaries, it was not accompanied by a special meal. Was it a first thanksgiving? Well, it was the first English prayer service in North America. And we can characterize it however we want."

Thirdly, the Order of Good Cheer existed, but it likely had little, if anything, to do with Thanksgiving in Canada according to Peter Stevens of York University who wrote a fine paper on the origins of the holiday*, the gist of which appears below the next paragraph.

The truth of the matter is that Thanksgiving in Canada can be traced back to Ontario in the mid 1880s. Protestant church leaders decided to 'borrow' the American tradition of Thanksgiving, but they wished to turn Thanksgiving into a nationalistic, religious event which excluded Catholics, the poor, and many minority groups. This approach eventually failed:

They did not simply duplicate the American Thanksgiving festival. Church leaders, particularly after Confederation, felt it their moral and historical duty to shape the Canadian identity in the Christian mould and saw the adoption of the Thanksgiving holiday as a way to do this. They created the Canadian Thanksgiving as an exclusively religious event that was white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant, pro-British and often anti-American in nationalist intent.

The Protestant clergy successfully lobbied the Canadian government to create Canada's first, national Thanksgiving in 1859. But it was only proclaimed sporadically in the ensuing years, as church, state and commerce each wrestled for control of the holiday. By the 1870s, American holiday traditions, such as family gatherings for turkey dinner and stories of the pilgrims, took hold in Canada, creating both commercial opportunities for businesses, and a way for Catholics to celebrate the day as a non-religious event. With this, the Protestant clergy lost exclusive control of Thanksgiving Day. They lost all influence over the holiday in 1908, when the government appointed Thanksgiving for a Monday rather than a Thursday. Transportation companies had asked for the change, feeling that a long weekend would increase holiday travel. Churches opposed the move, fearing that it would hurt church attendance, as it did. In 1957, Parliament passed legislation to make Thanksgiving an annual holiday celebrated on the second Monday of October, eliminating the need for annual proclamations.

To Protestant clergymen, the early history of Thanksgiving is, perhaps, a tragedy, since they lost control over the holiday. From another perspective, it is a story of triumph. Catholics, workers, ethnic minorities and other groups excluded from the clergy's notions of Thanksgiving and Canadian identity democratized the holiday and adopted their own holiday practices, asserting that they, too, had something to contribute to Canadian society and culture.
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Re: How much do you KNOW about Canadian Thanksgiving.

Post by Mr Cojones on October 10th 2008, 12:53 pm

Embarassed I got the first one right..

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Re: How much do you KNOW about Canadian Thanksgiving.

Post by Doc on October 10th 2008, 1:20 pm

Don't feel bad, Dale. Me, too! Embarassed
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Re: How much do you KNOW about Canadian Thanksgiving.

Post by Doreen on October 10th 2008, 1:57 pm

yea, but Doc, you have a good excuse.
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Re: How much do you KNOW about Canadian Thanksgiving.

Post by irishgodfather1 on October 10th 2008, 3:48 pm

What state is Canada in?
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Re: How much do you KNOW about Canadian Thanksgiving.

Post by Mr Cojones on October 10th 2008, 4:18 pm

lol! When we were in Branson, Mo a couple of Texans were looking at our car at the motel we were staying in. When we came out to leave one of them asks.." What state is Saskatchewan in?? " And then he asked if we had an electric car. The cord for the block heater was hanging out the front. So I says.. " Buy me a beer and I'll tell you " drunken But it was surprising the number of people that we met who had been to Saskatchewan..mostly to hunt and fish.One guy from Detroit had just come back a few weeks before from visiting a friend in North Battleford and he had driven by Indian Head..so he knew were I was from.. I was talking to a Telco cable splicer and he came up every fall to hunt..its about a 1200 mile trip..easy to drive in 2 days.

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Re: How much do you KNOW about Canadian Thanksgiving.

Post by shanaya on October 10th 2008, 6:24 pm

I didn't know the answer to any of them! Rolling Eyes
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