A special holiday is held in America and Canada called Thanksgiving. The holiday falls at different times. The Canadian Thanksgiving holiday takes place on the second Monday in October. Americans celebrate their holiday on the fourth Thursday of November.


The cast get ready to celebrate

Different countries and peoples have celebrated some form of thanksgiving for many years. A celebration was held if the harvest was good or if a battle had been won. One of the earliest formal thanksgiving celebrations was held by Jewish people in the form of the harvest feast Sukkoth, which dates back about 2,000 years.

The first Thanksgiving is reputed to have taken place in Canada in around 1580. It was arranged as a harvest celebration by an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had settled in Canada.

The American part of the Thanksgiving tradition started in 1620.


A group of English people sailed to Holland to escape religious persecution.

Smiles all round from the cast

This group prospered but started to consider the frivolity of the Dutch a danger to the minds, education and morality of their children. They decided to set sail for the New World and to start a new community where they could practice their religion in peace.

The group set sail on the Mayflower from Plymouth in England on September 6th, 1620. 44 of these people called themselves the “Saints”. 66 other passengers wwre given the name the “Strangers” by the Saints.

The trip was funded by a group of English investors called the Merchant Adventurers. The pilgrims were given their passage in exchange for 7 years of work for the investors on landing in the New World.

The trip was long and harsh, 65 days to be exact. Only one person died during this time. The first sighting of land was off Cape Cod but the ship sailed on to Plymouth, so named by Captain John Smith in 1614.

Jack and Tai San are ready for a celebration

Before landing the “Saints” and the “Strangers” got together and organised the Mayflower Compact which was a guarantee of equality and unification. This brought about the term the “Pilgrims” which the newly unified group called themselves.

The Pilgrims spent an extremely harsh first winter in this New World and out of the 110 Pilgrims and crew who had set sail on the Mayflower, less than 50 survived.

On March 16th 1621, an Abanki Indian brave called Samoset arrived in the camp of the Pilgrims. Withoiut being able to make himself understood, he soon returned with another Indian brave, Squanto who could speak English.

Squanto taught the English how to survive in this harsh New World and the next winter was much easier for the Pilgrims. After a big harvest , the Pilgrim Governor, William Bradford proclaimed a special thanksgiving celebration. This turned in to a 3 day event with both Pilgrims and Indians joined together in thanks.

Ryan seems pleased

This celebration continued on a yealy basis to a degree in Massachusetts and in the late 1770’s in the midst of the American Revolution, a day of thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. The celebration spread throughout America with the movement of pioneers.

The holiday customs and traditions mingled in Canada during the American Revolution when English supportive Americans crossed the border and settled in Canada.In 1957, Canadian Parliament announced thatt Thanksgiving would be a public holiday on the 2nd October.

It would be a “day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the beautiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed”.

Salene gets ready to give thanks at her wedding

New York State had adopted this celebration as an annual custom. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared that it was to be a national celebration.


Alice is all dressed up for a night of celebration

The Thanksgiving holiday is a huge event in American and Canada. It is a time for families and friends to get together and celebrate their good fortune. Turkey or ham is traditionally eaten with mashed potatoes and other vegetables. And cranberry sauce! Pumpkin pie is another typical part of the Thanksgiving feast. In fact, more turkey is eaten for this celebration than at Christmas.

The tradition today is to watch the huge Macy’s parade and a host of football games after a big feed!

Thanksgiving is really a mish mash of religion, good harvest and thanks.


The cast are full of sparkles and good feelings!

It is possible that the Tribal guys and gals would want to celebrate and give thanks if they can ever get round to providing lots of fresh food and a safe living environment.

If they are sure that their very existence is not going to be in danger.

Let’s hope that there will be good reason to celebrate one day soon.