Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

This is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons, tutorials and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, speaking, writing and editing. Some of the resources are Canadian. Others are from around the world.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Anyone living in Canada knows that Thanksgiving here in Canada is on the second Monday of October. That is tomorrow although many Canadians, including my own family, celebrate on Sunday. This year my son and daughter are coming over for dinner for a very traditional feast of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, yams and other vegetables. It is a very heavy meal that makes everyone feel sleepy, so I'm glad we only eat it twice a year, on Thanksgiving an d Christmas Day. I have suggested abandoning the big turkey dinner, but my children, who are now working adults, insist on the tradition of the turkey dinner with all the "trimmings," so I told them next year, it's their turn to invite my husband and I over for Thanksgiving at their house. 

If you want to know more about the story of Canadian Thanksgiving go to the Reading Pages and click on Thanksgiving.
Did you know that many countries have Thanksgiving? Those countries are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Liberia, Switzerland, India  and the United States.
The tradition of declaring a special day or period for giving thanks is an ancient one. It dates far back to the time when our ancestors hoped that an showy display of gratitude would  help calm down their often irritable gods. This great feast of thanks would ensure continued prosperity and good crops in the future. However, these days of thanksgiving were also occasions for celebrating the year's plenty with feasts and joyful gatherings. The thanksgiving celebrations of the ancient Greeks took the form of an annual fall festival, during which offerings were made to Demeter, the goddess of corn. Every October the Romans held a harvest festival called Cerelia, in praise of Ceres (Demeter's Roman counterpart) which included games, parades and a feast. The Jewish harvest festival, Sukkoth, is still celebrated every autumn as it has been for 3000 years
Proclaiming days of Thanksgiving for various reasons - success in war, a bounteous harvest, the recovery of a king from illness - was part of European tradition for centuries, but it has also been celebrated in the east, and in Africa for much the same reason. Of course, the day itself may not be called Thanksgiving, but the purpose is very similar to thank the gods for a good year and a good harvest. If you want to know more about Thanksgiving around the world, go to the Reading page and click on the link. 
 If you want to learn more about how to cook a perfect turkey watch the following video. It even has comprehension questions.

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