A Canadian Holiday Lesson

In case you missed it:


It’s time for another lesson on the difference between Canadians and Americans. This time: The Holiday Edition!

How many Americans knew that it’s NOT Thanksgiving for Canadians this week? YAY for you if you did! The Canadian Thanksgiving was actually at the beginning of October – October 10 to be exact. Yup, I was running a marathon on our Thanksgiving 😉

Maybe I’ll just have to celebrate this weekend to make up for it?? 😉

Here’s a very informative article on WHY Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on totally different dates.



So since we don’t have Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday we also don’t have this craazzzyyy Black Friday thing y’all are talking about!

What we do have in Canada is Boxing Day (December 26). There are always lots of sales happening on Boxing Day and it’s a great day to buy TV’s or other electronics because a lot of them are half-off. Of course, considering it’s the day AFTER Christmas it kind of defeats the purpose when it comes to Christmas shopping 😉

I’ve also heard that we have a lot more public holidays in Canada. We have a long weekend almost every single month of the year except for three and a few months (like April and December it’s a 4-day weekend because of holidays.)


January – New Years Day

February – None (3 provinces in Canada do celebrate ‘Family Day’ in February, though!)

March – None

April – Good Friday AND Easter Monday (4-day weekend, whoop!)

May – Victoria Day (a.k.a May Long Weekend)

June – None

July – Canada Day (which is July 1)

August – August Civic Holiday (a.k.a. August Long Weekend)

September – Labour Day

October – Thanksgiving

November – Remembrance Day

December – Christmas Day + Boxing Day


I love having so many long weekends to look forward to throughout the year, having a long weekend or a random day off work to look forward to really makes the 5-day work weeks more bearable don’t ya think?

I think those are the only really differences: Canadians still celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas the same way as Americans do (in a traditional sense). And Canada Day could be compared to Independence Day – there are very patriotic celebrations that happen and fireworks of course – I talked more about Canada Day here!

So, tell me, AND BE HONEST, did you know that it wasn’t Thanksgiving for Canadians this week?

43 Responses

  1. eemusings says:

    Totally disagree – we shop for each other on Boxing Day!

    of course we’re not big on Christmas…if you’re a festivities nazi that won’t work for you.

    We have 11 public holidays a year, but most of them fall in December/Jan for obvious reasons, and April (Easter).

  2. Ashley says:

    I don’t think I knew before I started blogging, but I’ve known for a couple years now. At least, I remember whenever you guys start talking about it and I think, “Is it really that time of the year already??”

  3. Becky says:

    I DID know it wasn’t Thanksgiving for Canada this week, but I didn’t know that until last year when I was reading your blog. You’re such a good educator!

    The closest Lush store to me (about 25 mintues away) has a HUGE sale on Boxing day and my best friend and I always go up there to score sweet deals!

  4. I did actually know that- I remember when a couple of you guys alluded to your Thanksgiving last month. Although I was confused then- I knew our November Thanksgiving was just an American holiday, but did not know if you had an equivalent one!

  5. Kelly says:

    Okay I know I suck at Canandian geography (getting better) but I will say I did not assume that Canadians would celebrate a holiday about the pilgrims (or not really about the pilgrims but anyway). So I definitely knew Canadians didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving this week always, what I didn’t know until I started blogging was that you guys have your own Thanksgiving earlier 🙂

    Looking at your holidays I think we have about the same number… if not more… January- New Years, Martin Luther King, February- Presidents Day, March- none (I hate March ps.), April- Patriots Day (I think this is a Boston area holiday though), some get Good Friday off (wish we had Easter Monday!), May- Memorial Day, June- none, July- July 4th, August- none, September- Labor Day and some get Jewish Holidays off, October- Colombus Day, November- Thanksgiving, Dec- Christmas. Now I’m too lazy to count but I think it’s pretty comparable. The difference may be that a lot of people don’t necessarily get these holidays off, haha.

    Okay thats enough from me. As usual.

  6. abbi says:

    I knew, but will admit this was the first year I’ve known. We started dealing with Canadian companies in my company’s data processing this year so I now know the dates Canadian stock markets are closed as well as US stock markets!

  7. I actually did know that Canadian and American Thanksgivings were different. Most U.S. calendars will indicate when Canadian Thanksgiving is (as well as other UK holidays, like Boxing Day).

  8. Megan says:

    It’s so weird; where I work (in a government facility) some people get ALL the holidays off… Unfortunately, I’m a contracted employee, so I only get New Year’s Day (January), Memorial Day (May), Independence Day (July), Labor Day (September), Thanksgiving & Black Friday (November), 1/2 day on Christmas Eve and all of Christmas (December). That’s ALL. I’m also given three “floating holidays” (days of pay that I can take whenever I want; I used one for Good Friday this year). I wish I had more holidays off.

  9. Lisa says:

    Yes! I know that Canadian Thanksgiving is in October. I wish our Thanksgiving was in October too!

  10. Emjaye says:

    I DID know. Yay me! BUT, I DIDN’T know Canada has its own Thanksgiving in October! You should definitely celebrate to make up for missing it!

  11. Yes, I definitely knew that you guys already celebrated Thanksgiving – especially since I was WITH YOU on you Canadian Thanksgiving day. And I didn’t even tell you Happy Thanksgiving that day! Sheesh, what kind of friend am I? 😉

  12. Ah, we health care workers don’t really keep track of holidays. We have to work half the time anyway!

  13. I did know it wasn’t Canadian thanksgiving. We also have a lot of Canadians around these parts. Probably, because we live so close to Ontario!

  14. Chanel says:

    I actually learned after blogging that the Canadian Thanksgiving is not the same time as ours. Thanks for the list….. I love Canada.

  15. Kara says:

    I wish B.C. would jump on the Family Day bandwagon! We desperately need a break in the middle of the bitter February weather.

  16. Emily Jane says:

    I’m looking forward to reading that article on the differences between Canadian and American Thanksgiving! I think I only had to deal with Boxing Day craziness once, and it was when I was working at Best Buy and it was mandatory. AWFUL, INSANE day!!

  17. C says:

    For Easter, Good Friday is the only one that is a stat. Most places are open the Monday. August is technically not even a stat and it is up to the employer whether or not they treat it that way. Christmas Eve and Boxing Days are also not stats and it is up to the employer whether or not you work.

  18. Lauren says:

    I actually knew this – one of my professors this semester is Canadian, so she talked about her thanksgiving back in October. She also brought in MARS bars for us because she no one knew what they were, and she couldn’t find them in america.

  19. Jess says:

    I did know Thanks giving wasn’t this week in Canada. I remember reading Angela’s posts about Thanksgiving last month!

  20. The only reason I knew was bc you talked about it when we were in Portland. Otherwise, I’m not sure if I would even know if Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving. Basically, I really despised history class from grade school through high school and didn’t have to take it in college. 🙂

  21. Ah, but do you know who invented Canadian Thanksgiving? When we went to Portland for the marathon, the border guard asked us that very question, saying we couldn’t cross if we didn’t (because it’s not already stressful going through there!) But now we will never forget! It was Martin Frobisher … just in case you’re ever asked 😀

  22. Lindsay says:

    Yes I knew thankyouverymuch! I give some Canadien friends a hard time in early October, telling them they are celebrating too early 😉

  23. Sarah says:

    Haha! I’m so proud of myself – I did know that Canadians celebrate thanksgiving at a different time of year to the Americans! How? Well, I follow another Canadian’s blog too. 😉

  24. Paula says:

    I knew you didn’t have the same Thanksgiving as the US and I’m neither Canadian OR American, haha! (I know it from “How I Met Your Mother”!) Boxing day sales are a big thing for us in the UK but weirdly amazon.co.uk is doing Black Friday this week for us. Odd.

    We have a lot of different public holidays etc in Scotland compared to England and Wales, so I get that. However, I think we have the same amount overall, they are just at different times.

    Sometimes I wonder if being Scottish is a lot like being Canadian… 🙂

  25. I knew!! Duh!!!

    We celebrate Family Day in my province!!! Only as of 3 years ago.

  26. Stephany says:

    Yep, I did know you guys already celebrated your Thanksgiving, thanks to fun little calendars growing up that explained the different holidays between the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. 😉

    We do have a lot of holidays here as well, but we just don’t get a lot of them off. We get 2 days in January, none in February-April, one in May, none in June, one in July, none in August, one in September, none in October, two in November, and between 2-3 in December (depending if you get Christmas Eve off.) We don’t get Good Friday off since it’s a religious holiday, but I wish we did! And a lot of those months have federal holidays that banks and post office workers and government offices get off, but us regular folks don’t. 😉

  27. Sam says:

    Hah, yes, I did know that Thanksgiving in Canada was NOT this week 🙂 Actually, up until a few years ago I thought that Canada did not celebrate Thanksgiving. I thought that it was just an American holiday. So when I learned that Canada did indeed have a Thanksgiving, I also learned when it was. I feel like most people I speak with about the subject also just thought Canada didn’t celebrate the holiday instead of assumptions that they did and it was the same day 🙂

  28. michelle says:

    I’m Canadian and grew up in Vancouver BC but now live in Washington state and people this week are all “what are your Thanksgiving plans?” And I respond ‘ummm nothing….” and I get that look of sympathy like I have no life or no family or no one that loves me, lol.

  29. Nicole says:

    I honestly knew it was not thanksgiving for you… however, the black friday we are raving about seems very similar to your boxing day… however it helps get steals for the holidays! Either is great! I feel like you know a ton about the USA and I know nothing about Canada… until now anyway! Good for you! How’s your foot? Message me! 🙂

  30. shoshanah says:

    I knew! But mainly because of the blogs I read. And while it sounds like Canadians have a lot more government holidays than us, we do have a lot just a lot of business aren’t closed for them. A few other government holidays we have are Martin Luther King Jr Day, President’s Day, Columbus Day, September 11 (I’m pretty sure it’s a holiday now, and officially I think it’s Patriot’s Day), and in California they also have Cesar Chavez day as a State holiday.

  31. mandy says:

    Yes! I knew that Canadians had already celebrated Thanksgiving. Really and truly.

  32. Amber says:

    Yes, I knew it wasn’t Thanksgiving in Canada but I didn’t know that before blogging! I’ve learned so much about Canada from your blog!

  33. Abby says:

    Okay, I’m going to be totally honest with you and say…..

    I had noooo idea about the Tgiving in Canada! For some reason, I just assume you guys have all the same holidays as us! Too funny!

    And the Boxing Day thing? Do you celebrate boxing do and do something special? Or is it just one of those days with a lot of sales (kind of like our Columbus Day)

    Interesting! Learned something new!

  34. Katrina says:

    We have Family Day the 3rd Monday in February!!! Yay AB extra day with pay !!

  35. Erin says:

    Didn’t have a clue! Thanks for the “lesson.” I shared this fun fact with my 8th graders today 🙂 Therefore—you helped in “expanding the minds of tomorrow”—for at least the 105 students I have!!! Yay Canada!! 🙂

  36. Carol says:

    Hmmm…you got me (an older Canadian) thinking, so I looked it up. This link is very interesting.
    Right now, 5 provinces observe the 3rd Monday in February (Alberta, Sask and Ontario call it Family Day, Manitoba calls it Louis Riel day and PEI has Islander day). Because of BC being a hold out, my company doesn’t observe it, but we do get Easter Monday off, which according to this site (and the fact that nobody else I know has it off) is only for Federal Employees and up to employer discretion in some provinces.
    I do remember when Alberta started the February holiday trend (yes, I am THAT old), because so many businesses thought they would lose money with having to pay for the day off. There is talk of it becoming a federal holiday (say, Flag Day for example) but right now I think it’s all just talk.
    I’d much rather have a Monday off than a Thursday and having to return to work on Friday. Same with the Christmas break…not really one is it, when you only get the one day off? Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t have turkey anyway…

  37. In Québec, there is a holiday in June: St-Jean-Baptiste! I’m not sure if the other provinces also have their own province holiday?

  38. Kate says:

    I always get mad when American’s don’t realize the world does not center around them. I dislike how tv shows are re runs this week because of the American Thanksgiving.
    I don’t really get how the American Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday? So they get a 4 day weekend? I’m lucky if I get a 3 day weekend on Thanksgiving since we are normally busy harvesting!

  39. […] is the day after Christmas and kind of the same, and I avoid that. (Really, you should check out this post by Amber on our whacky Canadian […]