Vancouver Ethiopian Blog

Ethiopian life in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Thanksgiving and Ethiopians in Vancouver

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Monday, October 12, 2009 will be Thanksgiving holiday in Canada. I wanted to post an article regarding this holiday as seen with an Ethiopian point of view …

I would like to dedicate this post to the Aboriginal People of North America, with out whom, we all (whether new immigrants or many generation Canadians) would not have been living in Canada.

When the early explorers arrived in North America, the Natives were very generous, helpful, compassionate and hospitable people. The Natives welcomed the explorers by:

  • Giving them the food they needed when they were hungry
  • Pouring the drinks when they were thirsty
  • Guiding them when they were lost, and
  • Clothing them when they were cold

Most immigrants in Canada, including the Ethiopian community, appreciate this holiday and are celebrating it every year. Immigrants appreciate the fact that there is a day dedicated to say “Thank You” to God. Immigrants come to Canada from a variety of cultures, nations, and beliefs and therefore, they find this holiday to be a good and fitting holiday.

I personally like Thanksgiving for the above reasons, including the historical kindness by the Natives; and also it has not been commercialized as Christmas. Thanksgiving is celebrated by everyone, from all walks of life, including old and new Canadians.

I thank God daily for all his blessings and I also know that thanking God once a year is not enough, but the fact that the holiday has been celebrated almost nationally in Canada (with the exception of a couple of provinces) for many years is gratifying. I try to give thanks to God on a daily basis.

But what is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is an annual holiday celebrated on the second Monday in October to give thanks at the close of the harvest season.

Although some people thank God for this bounty, the holiday is mainly considered secular. The holiday directly coincides with Columbus Day in the United States. American’s celebrate Columbus Day on this day.

How is Thanksgiving Celebrated in Canada?

The actual holiday is on a Monday, but you might have your Thanksgiving meals on any day of the three day weekend. Thanksgiving is often celebrated with family, it is also often a time for weekend getaways for couples to observe the autumn leaves, spend one last weekend at the cottage, or participate in various outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and hunting.

Do you have to cook a large dinner? Not necessarily. If you don’t feel like cooking and having friends or family members for dinner, you might want to go for a nature walk in the woods. While in the woods, look around for fallen leaves, the huge trees, all your surroundings and give thanks to God.

Most people in Ethiopia give thanks to God on a daily basis, but Ethiopia never had or has a special Thanksgiving Day set aside.

Now going back to what I said at the outset, the explorers who received all of the kindness of the natives decided to dedicate a day of Thanksgiving each year, as a remembrance for future generations. I believe that such a day was appropriate and was needed as the natives saved the explorers from starvation and suffering. Sadly, today, Thanksgiving has lost its original intentions and has become a more secular holiday.

Thus, let us remember not to lose sight of the original intentions of this great holiday. In fact, we must try our best to thank God for all the blessings in our lives on a daily basis.

Summary of Thanksgiving

Type Cultural
Significance A celebration of being thankful for what one has and the bounty of the previous year.
Date Second Monday in October.
2009 date October 12
Celebrations Spending Time with Family, Eating Large Dinners, Religious Practice

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

October 8, 2009 - Posted by | Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. […] Buy (Parts 1), To Buy a House or Not to Buy (Parts 2), To Buy a House or Not to Buy (Parts 3),  Thanksgiving and the Ethiopian Community of British Columbia (ECBC). Now it is time for a technology post, […]

    Pingback by Just How Big is the Internet? Let us Print the Entire Internet, Honey! « Vancouver Ethiopian Blog | October 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] October 8:  Thanksgiving and Ethiopians in Vancouver […]

    Pingback by Ethiopian Vancouver Blog: Looking at My 2009 Posts « Vancouver Ethiopian Blog | January 6, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: