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Thanksgiving Day Celebrations, Why?

Updated on August 7, 2017

In the next few days Canadians will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day, and Americans will do so in the next month

Already the grocery stores are stocked up with lots of food to lure consumers to buy as much as they can so that they can get ready for the big celebration on Monday, October 10, 2011. Every sector of the business community is taking advantage of the approaching holiday to advertise and promote their goods and services. Gifts shops are also displaying all kinds of nifty gift ideas for consumers to purchase, If you take a look at the weekly grocery flyers that are placed in your mailboxes you’ll see that they too are loaded with tons of sales and deals to entice you to the stores to buy as much as you want, so that you can prepare the most sumptuous meal ever! As I watched the way this holiday is secularized, I could not help myself asking the question, what is thanksgiving, and what really is its purpose? So, to satisfy my curiosity, I went and did a little research about Thanksgiving Day and the main purpose of this holiday. Here is a summary of what I have found.

Thanksgiving Day in Canada

Thanksgiving day in Canada is celebrated as a holiday on the second Monday in October every year. This celebration began with Martin Frobisher, an explorer who wanted to give thanks for finding a Northern Passage to the Pacific Ocean after he had experienced a very difficult sojourn. As a result, in 1878 he held a formal ceremony in Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey, even though he did not accomplish his mission.

. Canadian thanksgiving is also linked to the French Settlers who came from New France with Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century who took their customs of celebrating successful harvest with them. They celebrated the end of the harvest season with a big feast. Many immigrants to Canada from other countries such as Ireland, Scotland, and Germany also add their own tradition of celebration to thanksgiving in Canada. The eating of turkey became a part of the celebration when the United Empere Loyalists fled to Canada after escaping from the United States during the American Revolution. Today Canada’s Thanksgiving Day meal include stuffed turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce among other foods.

Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America

In the United States of America, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November each year. It is considered to be a time to express gratitude and have lavish feasts. It is also a time to remember the Pilgrims. This day was first celebrated in 1621 at Plymouth, although some historians claimed that it was held in Virginia. The first thanksgiving day took place after America’s independence when they offered food to the Native Indians to show gratitude to them for teaching the Pilgrims how to cook. To celebrated the day Americans carved turkeys, pumpkin pies, corns, cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving day is celebrated in other parts of the world such as: Australia, Germany, Liberia, The Netherlands, Asian countries, and Norfolk Island. Each country celebrate the day at different times during the year. For example in Germany it is celebrated on the first Sunday in October. While in Liberia, and West Africa they celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the first Thursday in November. Generally speaking, the day is celebrated in the months of October and November, except for the Koreans who celebrated Thanksgiving in September.

So, Thanksgiving Day, began as a day when people pause from their labour to give thanks to God. Can we honestly say this is what happens today? Is the primary focus on giving thanks to God? I don’t think we can honestly say that is the case. We need to revisit the main purpose of Thanksgiving Day!

I also wanted to find out how teenagers viewed Thanksgiving Day and , so I asked a few teenagers to share their views about the day. “To give thanks for everything”, they all replied. “Give thanks to who?” “God”, was the answer.

There seems to be a general concensus that gratitude should be given to God. The question is, how many of us on this day, really think about God’s goodness, and acknowledge his blessings on our lives?

What are Some of the Things to be Thankful for?

· Life

· A peaceful country to live

· Our families

· Our talents and abilities

· Ability to see, touch, feel , smell , taste

· Our friends

· Neighbours

· Our Church

· Food

· Our jobs

· Our grandchildren

I am sure you will agree with me that these pages are not large and long enough to contain all the things we could find to be thankful for.

How thankful are You?

Do you find it difficult to say thank you when someone has done something for you? Or are you the kind of individual who is always looking for ways to show others how grateful you are for their kindness? I have observed that far too many individuals are living such busy lives, that they can hardly find any time to stop and” smell the roses.” Their lives are too rushed!

Then there those children who never use the words, “thank you”. More and more we are seeing some of our children exhibiting the attitude of “entitlement” I am entitle to receive what I am given; and there is so sign of gratitude from them.

It is high time for us to stop, and show our gratitude to God for all the things He has blessed us with. It is never too late! Maybe this Thanksgiving Day is a good time to start. We will not be able to rewrite the past, but we can choose today to change the way we have been living our lives; to become grateful individuals . So, let’s remember the real purpose for Thanksgiving Day. Let’s give thanks to God Almighty for the big, and the small things. The significant and the insignificant events. Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Sometimes We forget, and need to be Reminded!

Do you thank God for His blessings?

See results

© 2011 jean2011


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    • James Peters profile image

      James Timothy Peters 

      6 years ago from Hammond, Indiana

      What an AWESOME Hub, Really. Thumbs Up & A whole lot more. Here's my THANKSGIVING DAY Hub here at I hope you can check it out. Thank you.

    • James Peters profile image

      James Timothy Peters 

      6 years ago from Hammond, Indiana

      What an AWESOME Hub, Really. Thumbs Up & A whole lot more. Here's my THANKSGIVING DAY Hub here at I hope you can check it out. Thank you.

    • jean2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Canada

      It's nice to hear from you prasetio30!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice information, Jean. Although I wasn't celebrate thanksgiving. I learn much from you about this celebration. Well done and vote up!


    • jean2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Canada

      Thank you Shanaya for your comments. It is always good to be thankful to God.

    • shanaya profile image


      6 years ago from Living in my Own Dreams:)

      Hello Jean! It's a very Nice way to say Thanks to God.I thank God for the gift of life and most importantly good health. Thanks for sharing.:)

      voted up, useful, interesting, awesome.

      with Respect

      from SHANAYA:)

    • jean2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Canada

      Thank you Neil for your comments, much appreciated!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, I never realised that Canada and a few other countries did have Thanksgiving day, I think we should have it over here in England, I am sure we could come up with a good reason, something like 'thanks for the reformation', or mix it in with Guy Fawkes night or bonfire night, when he was going to blow up parliament! not sure whether to say thanks for not blowing it up back in the 17th century, or thanks for trying! ha ha really interesting cheers nell

    • jean2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Canada

      Thank you ktrapp, it is so nice to hear from you!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      I often think that those that are the worst off financially in the U.S. and Canada are still so blessed compared to world standards. At least in our countries there is no need to be hungry or without shelter because of the kindness of so many organizations and churches. We truly are blessed nations and thanks for the reminder.

    • jean2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Canada

      Thank you Dim Flaxenwick and Jackie for stopping by, I truly appreciate your kind remarks.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      7 years ago from Great Britain

      This was a truly wonderful hub. L´ve often wondered about the Canadian one. Thank you for so much information, written in a beautiful way.

      The video was stunning.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      7 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Very beautiful and of course we can never thank God enough and we do have so much to be thankful for and may He look over the US and Canada in years to come. Voted up and across.


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