Today we are celebrating two holidays. First, Happy Thanksgiving! And no, we’re not early — it’s Canadian Thanksgiving! The concept of a day of gratitude can be traced all the way back to 1578 for our neighbors to the north, but the idea was formalized in 1872, when the country was grateful for the recovery of the ill Prince of Wales. Beginning in 1879, celebrations were held every year, mainly to give thanks for the harvest. Although the holiday is officially observed on the second Monday in October, you will find many Canadians traveling and getting together with family and friends for their thanksgiving meal on any one of the three days during the weekend. And yes, just like Americans, many Canadians do enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie along with some football on this noteworthy day. So join in the fun and be sure to say “Cheers” with a glass of spiced cider!
Second, it is Columbus Day — a public holiday in many parts of the United States that honors the exploration achievements of Christopher Columbus and for some, celebrates Italian-American heritage. Christopher Columbus’ famous journey to the Americas in 1492 was noteworthy in that it marked the first intertwining of Europe with the New World. It also proved that our globe was much bigger than even Columbus had imagined. Today you may find celebratory festivities and parades, especially in communities with a large Italian-American presence, honoring the courage and adventurous spirit of Columbus and his crew. And if there are no events near you, perhaps you can commemorate the day by serving one of these easy Italian recipes for dinner tonight!
Regardless of where you live, there’s so much to appreciate and celebrate in this beautiful autumn month of October!