The Canadian Thanksgiving celebration is based on traditions inherited from the British Isles, where in past centuries, they held Thanksgiving services in the churches to give thanks for events such as the recovery of the Prince of wales from an illness or the success of the British troops in battle. Eventually, the celebration became more associated with “Harvest and Home.” Churches held Harvest Festival services, and decorated altars with a cornucopia of fruits of the harvest, along with wheat sheaves and corn stalks.
During the early days of Canada, royal governors proclaimed special days of thanksgiving whenever the circumstances were appropriate. The celebration had no connection with the grim-faced, black-robed Pilgrim Fathers of our American neighbours to the south. Canada did indeed have its own brand of Puritanism, but it was not due to the settlers of Massachusetts.
Canada’s first Thanksgiving following Confederation was in April of 1872. In 1879, it officially became an annual event. Following the First World War, it was amalgamated with Armistice Day, to remember those who had served in the Great War, and was held on the Monday of the week that contained November 11th. However, veterans preferred to commemorate the event on the actual day the conflict had ended, the eleventh of the month. In 1931, the two days were separated, and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day. In 1957, the Federal Government declared that the holiday would be on the second Monday in October.
The stalls and shops of the Kensington Market provide one of the best Thanksgiving displays in the city. The photos below were taken at the Kensington Fruit Market, on the northeast corner of Kensington and St. Andrew’s Avenues.
To view other posts about the Kensington Market:
A new meat market opens on Baldwin Street in the Kensington Market
Automobile-free Sundays in the Kensington Market
The Moon Bean Coffee Company on St. Andrew’s Street
Enjoying the Kensington Market at Christmas Christmas
Early morning in the Kensington Market
Kensington Market in the winter
Kensington Market – an ever-changing scene
A lament for the demise of the European Meat Market on Baldwin Street
The row houses on Wales Avenue on Bellevue Square
Discovering the Kensington Market
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