136 Years since Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday
Though the harvest has been celebrated in Canada for several hundred years, it wasn’t officially declared a holiday until 1879. Initially, it took place in November and, after the First World War, it was celebrated on the Monday closest to Nov. 11 to coincide with Armistice Day (later renamed Remembrance Day). In 1931, Thanksgiving was moved to October but the exact date wasn’t officially set until 1957, when Parliament voted to declare the second Monday in October “a day of general Thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” Though it has been declared one federally, Thanksgiving is not a statutory holiday in P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick or Nova Scotia — so be thankful you don’t live there.
55 Extra sailings added to BC Ferries schedule
Many British Columbians have spent the past 48 hours travelling home for the holiday — and they’ll all be headed back over the next few days. For BC Ferries, it’s the busiest weekend of the year for foot passengers, likely because it’s the first chance for post-secondary students to head home for a visit. In anticipation, 55 sailings have been added its schedule through to Oct. 13. ICBC, meanwhile, is warning drivers to be cautious as they hit the road to attend family dinners. About 1,800 crashes occur in B.C. over the Thanksgiving weekend each year, resulting in an average of three deaths and 520 injuries. ICBC advises drivers to plan their routes ahead of time, slow down and put on winter tires if you’re hitting certain highways, such as the Coquihalla.
3.1 million Turkeys purchased by Canadians for Thanksgiving
If the day is all about the harvest, then British Columbians can be particularly grateful as they can cook pretty much an entire meal — meat, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beets, squash, parsnips and even pumpkin pie — using locally produced foods. The centre of the meal, of course, is the turkey and, according to the Turkey Farmers of Canada, Canadians bought 3.1 million whole turkeys for Thanksgiving. While it’s easy to buy one (there are 65 growers in the B.C. Turkey Farmers Association), knowing the size of bird to get — and then thawing and cooking it — can be a challenge. Tastyturkey.ca has handy calculators for all three, but the rule of thumb is: Buy a pound for every adult (a little more if you want leftovers); if frozen, thaw five hours for each of those pound.
(Courtesy of theprovince.com)