Born and bred in England, it was not until I moved to Canada that I came to know of Thanksgiving. For us the autumn (fall) harvest celebration was Harvest Festival. We celebrated on the Sunday nearest to the Harvest Moon. A full moon closest to the equinox (22 or 23 September). As a mainly Christian celebration there are church services including hymns and praying and the churches are decorated with baskets of fruit and food. These offerings are then distributed to the needy. The origins of harvest festival are from pagan times.
In Canada, Thanksgiving celebrations are celebrated on the second Monday in October. It is a celebration of the harvest and blessings of the past year. In January 1957, a proclamation was issued that it was a day of general thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest. It became an annual holiday.
We have adopted this new tradition within my family and enjoy an ‘extra’ turkey dinner in the year!