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Thanks giving Day
- Mr. VIRABHADRA SASTRI KALANADHABHATTA
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Thanks giving Day Celebration in Canada People of Canada celebrate Thanks giving on the second Monday in the month of October every year. It is celebrated to thank the Lord Almighty for a bountiful harvest. America however celebrates thanks giving on the fourth Thursday of November every year. The reason behind the difference is geographical; autumn season starts earlier in Canada than in America. History of First Canadian Thanksgiving : The first Canadian thanks giving was celebrated on 15th April 1872 to thank the recovery of King Edward VII from serious illness. The next thanksgiving was celebrated after a few years in 1879 on a Thursday. Canada later, had a turbulent time deciding the day of national Thanks giving. Thanksgiving was celebrated on a Thursday in November between 1879 and 1898. It was later celebrated on a Thursday in October between 1899 and 1904. Thereafter, it was celebrated on a Monday in the month of October. This was between the period of 1908-1921. In later years, thanks giving came to be celebrated on 'Armistice Day'. This was however, amended in 1931. Finally on January 31, 1957, Parliament announced the second Monday in the month of October as the official 'Thanks giving Day'. It was declared as 'a day of general Thanks giving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.' Thanks giving in Canada has generally thought to come from three traditions. European farmers in Europe held celebrations at harvest time to give thanks for their good fortune of a good harvest and abundance of food. They would often fill a curved goat's horn with fruits and grains. This was known as a cornucopia or horn of good plenty. When Europeans came to Canada it is thought to have become an influence on the Canadian Thanks giving tradition. Around 1578 English navigator Martin Frobisher held a ceremony, in what is now called the province of Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving his journey there. Other settlers later arrived and continued these 'thankful' ceremonies. This was also thought to be an influence on the Canadian Thanks giving tradition. The third influence happened in 1621 in what was to become the United States. Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in the 'New World'. Around 1750 this celebration of harvest was brought to Nova Scotia by American settlers from the south. At the same time, French settlers arriving were also holding feasts of 'thanks giving'. These celebrations and offerings of 'Thanks' influenced the Canadian Thanksgiving. In 1879 Canadian Parliament declared November 6th a day of Thanks giving and a national holiday. Over the years the date of Thanks giving changed several times until on January 31st, 1957 Parliament proclaimed...'that the 2nd Monday in October'...'be a Day of General Thanks giving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.'. Canadian Thanksgiving Celebration : The thanks giving celebrations include parades, customary 'family feast' and 'turkey'. It is a time for sharing, loving and family reunions. The central idea behind the celebration is to be thankful for the past harvest and praying for the coming year.

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