Canadian Thanksgiving 2012: When Is Canadian Thanksgiving This Year?

Wondering when Canadian Thanksgiving is this year — and which days you get off?

The simple answer: Thanksgiving is Monday, October 8, 2012. Its early date this year is thanks to October 1 falling on a Monday, as Canadian Thanksgiving always takes place on the second Monday of the month. Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday across Canada, with the exception of the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.

Depending on family traditions, Thanksgiving meals can take place on any of the weekend days, though Sunday appears to be the favourite, likely thanks to all the time families have to prepare (and of course, the day off work on Monday to recover).

And speaking of which, most offices will be closed on the Monday thoughout the country, though certain shopping malls and tourist attractions will be taking advantage of the long weekend traffic.

As for why Canada's Thanksgiving differs from the United States' date, the answer is simply geography. Because of Canada's northern climate, the harvest takes place earlier, so this feast to celebrate that bounty follows suit. As legend has it, the first Canadian Thanksgiving took place in 1578 to welcome home Martin Frobisher safely from his journey to discover the Northwest Passage, reported the Edmonton Journal.

Since that time, the Canadian Thanksgiving has taken on characteristics of both its British heritage and American neighbours, engaging in a huge meal filled with the delights of the season, as well as a genuine appreciation for all we have in Canada.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Thanksgiving is not a statutory holiday in Quebec.

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