Friday, 5 October 2012

Jour de l'Action de Grâce, Thanksgiving

My favourite holiday of the year le Jour de l'Action de Grâce, Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October in Canada. It is a Liturgical Festival and comes to us from our ancestors in France and England celebrating the Harvest.
Les citrouilles harvest 2012

The actual holiday is Monday but most of us Canadians will celebrate on the Sunday with a Festive meal amongst friends and family. It is a holiday everyone can celebrate unlike Christmas. It is a holiday to reflect on our good fortune and be thankful, if only for the fact that we live in a peaceful and stable country bordering on the boring. In Canada the origin of this holiday are numerous, the first time the holiday is mentioned is 1604 when Samuel de Champlain and his companions who have settled at the fame l'Habitation, gave thanks for making a safe crossing of the Atlantic from France to Quebec City or Stadacona as it was then known. We know that the native people have for centuries celebrated the Harvest with meals and dances, well before the Europeans arrival. It was common to celebrate with the European settlers and this is where squash and corn came into being a part of the meal. The wild turkey a Mexican import came much later probably in those days venison was the main meat of the meal.

Starting in 1879 Thanksgiving was observed on a Thursday in November, something to do with the Royal Family, then after the First World War the observance was around the 11 November, Armistice Day, thankful for Peace, not to forget that 10% of the population had gone to war in Europe. Finally in 1957, Thanksgiving became a National Statutory Holiday and fixed on the second Monday in October.
Glorious Maple tree colours on our back street.

So today I went to the store to pick up my 5 Kg Turkey, a small bird. I love the smell of roasting turkey it brings back so many memories of family gatherings at my grandparents decades ago. I also will do two vegetables, some potatoes and a mixture of celery, pearl onions and peas. One guest will bring an appetizer and the other guest dessert. I have champagne and over 100 bottles of wines to choose from, plus several excellent single malt scotch, gin and vodka for apéritif. So we should be OK so to speak.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all!

 Our street in Ottawa.


  1. happy thanksgiving to you from me..

  2. happy thanksgiving - I learned a lot from this post - thank you

  3. Happy Thanksgiving. And thanks for the picture of autumn color.