Studying an intensive English program in October? What to know about Canadian Thanksgiving

study English in Canada

Thanksgiving in the United States is very famous around the world, but you might be surprised to learn that it’s a holiday also celebrated in Canada. It’s similar to U.S. Thanksgiving in a lot of different ways, but in Canada it is held on the second Monday of October. That means this year’s Thanksgiving is on Monday, October 8th, and good news—it’s a public holiday here!

It’s a great opportunity to enjoy Canadian culture, but how do you celebrate it properly? You might be experiencing this great day for the first time while learning the English language, so here’s a quick guide on what Canadian Thanksgiving is all about.

Thanksgiving was celebrated in Canada before the United States

The first Thanksgiving celebration in Canada is believed to have taken place in Newfoundland in 1578 to celebrate explorer Sir Martin Frobisher’s safe journey from Europe. That’s 43 years before the first Thanksgiving in the U.S.! It has been a national holiday here since 1879 and it has taken place on the second Monday in October since 1957. Some Canadian provinces celebrate the day more than others, and Ontario is a great place to be for Thanksgiving when you’re studying an intensive English program.

Eat delicious food for the day

Avoid following a diet on Canadian Thanksgiving because this is a great day to eat lots of delicious food. Turkey is the most traditional meat eaten on the day, and most people also enjoy stuffing, mashed potatoes, and different vegetables. It’s almost identical to a traditional Christmas dinner until the dessert arrives. Traditionally, the dessert served on Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is the perfect fall treat, so why not try it with friends!

Enjoy a delicious turkey dinner on Thanksgiving
Enjoy a delicious turkey dinner on Thanksgiving

Go for a nice walk while you study English in Canada

Fall is a wonderful time of year in Canada. The air is cool and it’s a perfect opportunity to go for a walk after eating a big dinner. Go to a local park and enjoy the sight of leaves falling off the trees, or go on a bike ride with friends if you have a little more energy. Check out whether there are any suitable places for pumpkin picking too, which is a fun activity to try. Winter can be very cold here in Canada, so take advantage of the nice fall temperatures on Canadian Thanksgiving.

Enjoy the beautiful fall scenery after dinner
Enjoy the beautiful fall scenery after dinner

Football and hockey are popular sports on Thanksgiving

Did you know that Canada has its own version of U.S. football? They’re almost identical and Thanksgiving is a big day for the Canadian Football League (CFL). Lots of people relax in front of the television to watch the games. If you’re feeling more active, you can also go out on the streets and play some road hockey. Fall is the start of the hockey season, so it’s a great time to start learning more about the sport.

It’s a public holiday so beware of shop closures

Thanksgiving is an official holiday in Ontario, which means that most people don’t have to go to work. Unfortunately, that means that a lot of your favourite shops and restaurants might not be open on the day. So, if you’re attending English as a second language school and need to do some shopping, try and do it a few days beforehand.

Do you want to study English in Canada?

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