Larry's Annual Thanksgiving Story
The history of our Thanksgiving goes back to English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a safe northern passage to the Orient.
He did not succeed but established a settlement and in 1578 held a formal ceremony in what is now Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the first Thanksgiving, and as other settlers arrived they continued this tradition.
Meanwhile French settlers had arrived with Samuel de Champlain and also held feasts of thanks. They formed “The Order of Good Cheer” and shared their bounty with their “Indian” neighbors.
After the Seven Years War ended in 1763, citizens of Halifax held a special Thanksgiving.
During the American Revolution, those Americans who remained loyal to England, migrated to Canada and brought with them many of the traditions of American Thanksgiving.
In 1879 Parliament declared November 6th as a day of Thanksgiving and also a national holiday. Subsequently over the years many dates were used for Thanksgiving, the most popular, the 3rd Monday in October.
After World War I, Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were both celebrated on the Monday of the week where November 11th fell. Ten years later Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.
On January 31st, 1957 the Parliament of Canada declared: A day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed…to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.
Today the holiday is celebrated in both a religious and secular manner. I hope yours is truly a happy occasion. -LF-
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