As the crisp autumn breeze rustles through the maple leaves and families gather around festive tables laden with turkey and all the trimmings, Canadians know that Thanksgiving has arrived. Beyond the delectable meals and cozy gatherings, this holiday has a rich history and cultural significance in Canada that’s worth exploring.
Welcome to our Canadian Thanksgiving quiz, where we invite you to delve into the traditions, history, and unique aspects of this beloved holiday. Whether you’re a lifelong Canadian, an enthusiastic visitor, or simply a holiday enthusiast seeking to broaden your horizons, this quiz will whisk you away on a journey through the annals of Canadian Thanksgiving.
So, grab a pumpkin spice latte, cozy up by the fire, and let’s embark on this delightful journey through Canadian Thanksgiving history and culture. Are you ready to harvest some knowledge? Let’s get started!
Reading Time: 2 minutes -Remember, folks, knowledge is something to be thankful for all year round, just like pumpkin pie and good company. Keep on learning, keep on quizzing, and keep on celebrating the beautiful tapestry of life.
#1. What is the key difference between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving?
The American Thanksgiving long weekend runs from Thursday to Sunday, whereas the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend runs from Saturday to Monday.
Americans celebrate it on the fourth Thursday in November — so they essentially get a four-day weekend versus our three-day weekend.
#2. How did Canadian Thanksgiving begin?
In 1578 when English explorer Martin Frobisher arrived in Newfoundland and wanted to celebrate his safe arrival in his journey from Europe to Asia. It wasn’t until 1879 that it was declared a national holiday, and it wasn’t until 1957 that its October date was set.
#3. Why does turkey make you sleepy?
Turkey contains Tryptophan, which is a naturally occurring amino acid that is used by the human body to make the neurotransmitter serotonin (the “feel-good chemical”). Studies have shown that serotonin promotes slow-wave sleep in non-human and humans alike. However, did you know that there are other foods that contain more Tryptophan than turkey? These are spinach, soy, eggs, cheddar cheese, fish, watercress, and tofu. So then why do we get so sleepy after we eat turkey? Well combine the carbs (desserts!), fat, and consumption of alcohol being consumed in large quantities on Thanksgiving, and your body will be using up a lot of energy to try to digest your food. Reduced blood flow in the body means reduced energy.
#4. Canadian Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday EXCEPT in:
Canadian Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday EXCEPT in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland and Labrador in which it is an optional holiday.
#5. Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving, and not some other bird?
The birds are large enough that they can feed a table full of hungry family members rather than a chicken. Plus, chicken and cows were considered much more valuable to keep around for their eggs and milk. They were highly regarded back when the Thanksgiving tradition first began. By the way, wild turkeys can fly, unlike domestic turkeys. They can also run up to 20 miles an hour. We eat domestic turkeys which have been bred for their size and speed of growth to the point where they now cannot fly, walk normally or even breed on their own.
#6. How did "Breaking the Wishbone" start?
The ancient Romans used to pull apart chicken bones hoping for good fortune. The English picked it up in the 16th century, where it was referred to as “merrythought.” In the New World, Pilgrims played tug-of-war with the bones of wild turkeys. The term “wishbone” didn’t emerge until the 1800’s. Each person grabs an end and pulls it apart. It is believed that if you get the bigger piece, your wish will be granted.
#7. Why is it earlier than the American Thanksgiving?
Canadian harvest season is earlier in Canada, as it gets colder sooner.
#8. From 1921 to 1930, Thanksgiving was combined with:
Armistice Day (now Remembrance Day), which was observed on the Monday of the week of November 11.
#9. Why is Canadian Thanksgiving celebrated?
Canada’s Parliament proclaimed a day for giving thanks for “the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed” in 1879. The holiday actually has much earlier beginnings, though, possibly beginning in some form back in 1587 with Arctic explorer Martin Frobisher.
#10. What role does the beauty of Niagara Falls play in Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations?
The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced back to the early colonial period when European settlers arrived in what is now Canada. Niagara Falls is located in Ontario, which was one of the regions where early settlers established communities. These settlers brought with them the tradition of giving thanks for a successful harvest, which eventually evolved into the Canadian Thanksgiving we know today.
#11. Which French explorer is credited with holding the first recorded Thanksgiving in Canada in 1606?
On November 14, 1606, inhabitants of New France under Samuel de Champlain held huge feasts of thanksgiving between local Mi’kmaq and the French. Though not known at the time by the settlers, cranberries, rich in vitamin C, are credited with helping avoid scurvy.
#12. When is the Canadian Thanksgiving celebrated?
The 2nd Monday in October (it has coincided with Columbus Day in the US since 1971