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4 Things That Make Canadian Thanksgiving Not Like Ours

It's not just that they celebrate a month early!

Photography by: linda xiao

Thanksgiving may be one of the best things about late fall and we're not the only ones that take time to say thanks while feasting at this time of year. Canadians do Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October, and their celebration is actually older than ours. Canadian Thanksgiving dates back to 1578 when an arctic explorer and his crew gave thanks for safe travels. Today, our two Thanksgivings happen in different months but are pretty similar when it comes to the menu. There are differences though, here are four things that make a Canadian Thanksgiving unique.


1. A Spicier Pumpkin

We like our pumpkin pie sweet and topped with globs of whipped cream. Canadians opt for a spiced pumpkin pie with more ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon that give the pie a lively, earthier taste.


Get our Classic Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

2. No Marshmallows

Forget the casserole dish and the marshmallow toppings: In Canada, sweet potatoes are either baked or whipped into a creamy, smooth puree using buttermilk and dijon. For a sweeter version of this Canadian favorite, skip the dijon and buttermilk and opt for molasses, brown sugar, and orange juice or the simplest and most elemental version with just maple syrup and butter.


Get our Thanksgiving Potato and Sweet Potato Recipes
cornbread stuffing
Photography by: Marcus Nilsson

3. Plenty of Bacon

Though we love this cured meat in everything from breakfast sandwiches to cookies, for Americans bacon is optional on Thanksgiving. For Canadians it's not. They add Canadian bacon to all kinds of casseroles, to give everything from stuffing to gratins extra flavor.


Get our Stuffing and Dressing Recipes

4. Not So Much About Pie

Perhaps the most suprising thing to know about Canadian Thanksgiving is that pie is not essential to the menu. The non-pie desserts popular north of the border are often cakes, such as maple-walnut layer. Doughnuts are another favorite option.


Get our Favorite Fall Cake Recipes