Today was Thanksgiving in Canada. They celebrate their Thanksgiving earlier than here in the US.
For Canada, Thanksgiving is usually traced to a Thanksgiving feast held by Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew in 1578.
The feast was held on the Countess of Warwick’s Island. Today the island is known as Kodlunarn Island. The island is just off the shore of Baffin Island in Frobisher Bay.
Since I have a few Canadian ancestors I have chosen to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving each year instead of Columbus Day which falls on the same day.
Thanksgiving in Canada today does have ties to the Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth.
Two big events brought Thanksgiving traditions from New England to Canada. The first was the expulsion of the Acadians from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the 1750’s. A large number of settlers from New England moved to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the 1750’s and 1760’s bringing their Thanksgiving traditions with them. I have ancestors that were in this group who settled in Newport, Nova Scotia and Sackville, New Brunswick. You can read more about them in: Almost Canadian?
The second big event was the Revolutionary War. Many Loyalists moved to Canada after the war and they also brought their Thanksgiving traditions with them. Some of the cousins of my ancestors were in this group. I may also have an ancestor in this group that was there for only a short time before moving back to New York. More research is needed.
Five years ago I was able to share a Thanksgiving feast with some of my friends in Toronto. It is not often that I am in another country when they have a holiday as I usually work around the holidays in the country where I am going. However, I have several times been in other countries doing training when it is a holiday at home. I remember one Thanksgiving in India and another in Australia.
Since it is a day of Thanksgiving I have been thinking what I have been thankful for this year.
This year it may be a little harder to think of things to be thankful for with all that has happened.
I am thankful that I have been able to spend a lot of time virtually with my friends in Canada this year. I virtually attend Sunday Morning church services with them, and also a Tuesday night class. The Tuesday class is also attended by other people from around the world and I look forward to the class each week. I also virtually attend a twice monthly class on Thursday night where we study the Psalms and I have enjoyed getting to know another group of friends. Of course, I still meet virtually with my home congregation on Sunday morning and again on Wednesday night.
I am also thankful that I have a job that allows me to work from home, although I am often virtually somewhere else in the world.
I am thankful that I am healthy even though I have had lots of allergies from the poor air quality and all the smoke in the air.
Tonight I am thankful that we have clean air again. Hopefully it will stay that way for awhile.
There are many other things that I am thankful for, but the list is too long for me to post tonight.
What a day to celebrate.