Difference Between American and Canadian Thanksgiving

Misty Thomas
By Misty Thomas. Updated: January 16, 2017
Difference Between American and Canadian Thanksgiving

Many different countries have similar holidays. Thanksgiving is one that is celebrated in both Canada and America, but do you know what the differences are between American and Canadian Thanksgiving? There are quite a few little differences and histories behind these two Thanksgiving festivals, so OneHowTo will examine each country's holiday in a little more detail.


  1. The Celebration
  2. What else is different?
  3. Pilgrims vs. The Harvest
  4. The Meaning Behind Thanksgiving

The Celebration

There are many differences between Canadian and American Thanksgiving. One of the differences is the dates. Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November whereas Canadians celebrate on the second Monday in October.

Both versions of this holiday began as a religious celebration for the great bounty that God has provided. Canadians celebrate the harvest and Americans began this holiday to celebrate the generosity of the Native Americans. Both of these countries do use these holidays as a great way to spend time with their families and friends that they are thankful for.

Difference Between American and Canadian Thanksgiving - The Celebration

What else is different?

Americans go directly to the malls after Thanksgiving for Black Friday and Canadians just call it the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. They do not put as much pressure on shopping for the oncoming Christmas season. Americans like to enjoy a long four-day weekend for Thanksgiving and Canadians just enjoy three days.

Difference Between American and Canadian Thanksgiving - What else is different?

Pilgrims vs. The Harvest

Most Americans are aware that the main reason they celebrate Thanksgiving is because of the Pilgrims that came over on the Mayflower to escape religious persecution. This is why Americans sit down and eat turkey and stuffing with their families. Canadians have a very different view of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving to a Canadian means that they were able to harvest quite a few crops before the first frost of the winter hit. The weather in Canada is much different than America, so Canadians are thankful for the fruits and vegetables that they were able to grow. The fall crops are some of the most important to Canadians because they know that a very cold winter is on its way.

The Meaning Behind Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays to be spent with the ones you love. There are some historical and cultural differences, but the idea behind both festivals is the same. So whether you are Canadian or American, just remember what you are thankful for and take a moment to appreciate it during thanksgiving!

If you want to read similar articles to Difference Between American and Canadian Thanksgiving, we recommend you visit our Festivities & Celebrations category.

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Difference Between American and Canadian Thanksgiving