Even though Canada and the U.S. are so close geographically, there are some differences between the two countries. Especially around a certain turkey-eating holiday. Canadian Thanksgiving is different from the American one not just because of when it happens.

While our friends south of the border are busy eating turkey and watching football, it’s just another day in November for Canadians.

The Canadian holiday seems like it happened ages ago with so many other things happening in the more than a month that’s passed like Halloween, Remembrance Day, and now the holiday season which is in full swing.

You might not know it but B.J. Novak, The Office's notorious temp, is actually half Canadian. He even says so in his Twitter bio.

In a tweet about American Thanksgiving, he recounted something his dad said to him about how long it lasts in the U.S.

Novak's tweet got a lot of responses from Canadians and Americans alike about our two Thanksgivings.

One person said, "Tell him I need the extra time to fit back in my pants."

"That's why we're the greatest country in the world," someone replied.

Another person went a little more Canadian and said, “Please tell [your] dad 'Sorry.'"

Canadian Thanksgiving happens on the second Monday in October while the American one happens on the fourth Thursday of November.

According to Insider, the earliest Canadian Thanksgiving on record dates back to 1578 after explorer Martin Frobisher's third voyage to Canada. He lost a ship along the way and after had a big celebration when he landed in Nunavut to give thanks for his safe passage.

That’s long before what’s recognized as the first U.S. Thanksgiving in 1621.

But according to the Canadian Encyclopedia, it didn’t actually become a national holiday until 1879, almost a century after the American one did.

There is some belief that the holiday takes place earlier in the Great White North because the start of the harvest season happens earlier here.

With Americans posting all about their Thanksgiving festivities online, many took to Twitter to discuss the two versions.

"Canadian Thanksgiving is very mild vs American thanksgiving," one person said.

Another said, "The only good thing American Thanksgiving has over Canadian Thanksgiving is that they get Thursday and Friday off."

There are other ways in which Canadian Thanksgiving is different than its American counterpart aside from just when it happens.

According to CNN, some provincial delicacies are subbed in for the usual turkey dinner like Jiggs' dinner, a boiled meat dish often paired with a split-pea pudding, in Newfoundland.

Also, it’s an official statutory holiday across Canada with the exception of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and P.E.I.

We also don’t go all out for parades and football games like our neighbours do. If parades and football games do happen on Thanksgiving, it’s not as huge as it is in the U.S.

Whether you celebrate in October, November or even not at all, you don't have to wait for a certain day to give thanks for all the good things in your life.


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram


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