Canadian Thanksgiving traces its roots to the old European farming custom of coming together to celebrate a plentiful harvest.
The first known Thanksgiving celebration on Canadian shores was in 1578. It was hosted by a European explorer named Martin Frobisher, who pulled together an impromptu harvest feast upon reaching Newfoundland. Frobisher famously gave thanks not only for the delicious feast, but also for his crew's safe passage at sea.
Canada's Thanksgiving traditions are also attributed to the many Loyalists who moved north--the Americans who remained faithful to England during the Revolutionary War. These settlers brought many of their American Thanksgiving customs that were adopted into the Canadian holiday.
The Perfect Thanksgiving Meal
Like its American counterpart, the Canadian Thanksgiving meal usually features a North American staple, the turkey, although ham or other roasts may be substituted. This centerpiece is complemented by an array of favorites: gravy, stuffing, autumn vegetables, and desserts.
Canadians are fond of the cornucopia tradition as it was originally practiced by European farmers: filling a curved ram's horn with fruits and grains.