They walk among us. Barely noticed, save for a stray "eh," or a jarringly unnecessary (and heavily rounded) "sorry." You will know them by their pervasive knowledge of hockey standings, the subtle scent of maple syrup, and their general aura of good health (thanks universal health care!).
Their mainstream holidays are similar to the mainstream holidays in the United States. They yule-out on December 25. They trick-or-treat at the end of October. But there is one glaring, Turducken-sized exception to this celebration template: Canadian Thanksgiving.
Yes, the casual American might assume that Canada either A) doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, because shit, they aren't even Americans, damn it!; B) Canada just follows suit and tunes into the Cowboys game over a hot plate of homemade stuffing and store-bought cranberry sauce; or C)... they've never assumed, because they don't really care.
But Canadian Thanksgiving is real. And… it's familiar. It's like if you pushed American Thanksgiving through a Wonka-esque Instant-Canada machine. It's like looking at our holiday through a maple-leafed funhouse mirror. It has turkey and stuffing and family dinners, but does it all without the whitewashing, cultural appropriation, and Pilgrim stuff.
But instead of trying to understand it as a pale imitation of our own holy holiday, we should treat it as its own, independent entity (which, of course, it is), and not a weird little Canadian satellite orbiting around our Turkey Day.
This is Canadian Thanksgiving, and why you should care about it.