Thanksgiving in Surrey, British Columbia
"What is Thanksgiving?"
I'm writing this travelogue for people who are curious about Canadian Thanksgiving, or who just want to view non-touristy Canadian culture.
North America has a unique holiday called Thanksgiving. The USA celebrates this holiday at the end of November, usually with large family feasts of turkey, by giving thanks to God, friends and family, and remembering the pilgrims who first colonized the country, who a very long time ago with aid of the Native American tribes, feasted on similar dishes of turkey and pumpkin pie.
Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving, but in a slightly different way. Canada's Thanksgiving is celebrated at the beginning of October. People say the USA celebrates Thanksgiving almost as importantly as Christmas, with parades, decorations, and days off of work, whereas in Canada it's a smaller holiday. We also get less time off of work and school. :P
While Canadians also celebrate Thanksgiving as a time to give thanks, Thanksgiving in Canada doesn't include historical importance of the pilgrims feasting with the Native Americans (mostly because it wasn't a part of Canadian history). Instead, Canada's Thanksgiving tends to focus more on the harvest season and the celebration of autumn.
The following pictures were taken (by my Dad & family members) during my family's Thanksgiving dinner in October 2000.
My family lives in a Vancouver suburb city. We usually have Thanksgiving dinner with my dad's side of the family. This year it was going to be held at my Uncle John & Auntie Janet's place. They live a 40 minute drive away in the rolling hills of South Surrey. Instead of having dinner in their home, they decided to have dinner "at the barn". "The barn" is my uncle Steve's office, for when he was working in the polo industry. The barn itself is located upon a large polo field. The upstairs of the barn is an office. The downstairs of the barn serves as a lounge an as a private country club. That's where Thanksgiving dinner was taking place this year!
When we arrived, my Auntie Janet, her father in law Sam, and my Uncle John were outside enjoying the warm sunshine.
Here's a great photo of Sam enjoying the sun (and apparently his cigarette too!)
My sister, me, my dad, my mom and my aunt enjoying the sunshine and our champagne!
Two of my uncles and my cousin pose for the picture. The dinner table's set in the background. In the foreground you see the snacks and Thanksgiving decorations displayed on the table.
During our family Thanksgiving dinner, we have roast turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatos, turnip, carrots, brussel sprouts, corn, squash, yams, dinner rolls, salads, and of course, the pumpkin pie! The food would be set up so everyone could help themselves. Unfortunately there were no photos of the food, but here's a silly picture of all the cousins telling stories with their mouths full of food. Ummm.... no, that's not me! ;)
Here's my dad with his sister (my aunt), enjoying a glass of wine, telling eachother silly stories, and generally being happy. This is what Thanksgiving is in Canada. Being with family and friends and just enjoying yourself.
The sun was setting over the hills, and I managed to take this picture when I was outside. Autumn was definitely in the air, and the Thanksgiving dinner would continue until later that evening. While all of my family lives nearby, it was nice seeing them again all under one roof!