That end tag should alert you, if the first word doesn't, that I'm Canadian. I'm not sure when or how "eh?" became a stereotypical meme for us Canucks (as we sometimes call ourselves) but this somewhat ironic title of my post today captures for me the dilemma of traditional holidays during Covid times.
Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated a couple of weeks ago, on Monday October 12th - a different date and different historical background from our neighbors to the south. Pilgrims didn't land on our shores hundreds of years ago, but French and later, English, explorers did. There are a few theories about how Thanksgiving began here: one connects the celebration to an early British explorer and another to similar customs in England. But the one that makes sense to me is that early settlers adopted the custom from our original Indigenous people who celebrated the harvest long before Europeans arrived. Thanksgiving as a holiday wasn't official until 1879 and it now falls on the second Monday in October.
We always spend the holiday weekend at our cottage on Garden Island, which I've written about far too many times in this blog! :) Like most holidays, it's always involved family, extended family and feasting. This year was different, as holidays all over the world are for most people. Instead of the usual potluck supper in the sail loft, islanders held an outdoor, distanced get-together with people bringing their own drinks and snacks.
|In front of the sail loft|
There was apple picking and cider making however, with distancing, and even the annual pumpkin carving contest.
|The apple orchard|
|The winner - a pumpkin deer|
|Many Covid themes this year - this pumpkin needs a haircut!|
This year we had a new event. A young islander who's a photographer and videographer, held an exhibit of his photographs as well as some of his videos. Here's his cottage, prepped for the nighttime gala.
|Photo exhibit at The Office cottage|
|Garden Island, from a drone camera|
My husband's sister and her family also have a cottage on the island and normally we would have a large family dinner. This year many family members were sadly absent due to Covid restrictions. Luckily the weather was on our side and we managed to enjoy an awesome potluck supper.
|Setting up for outdoor dining with umbrellas for wind protection|
The evening ended with a night walk down the lane where we saw this :
|A spooky pumpkin holder|
|Not so spooky by day!|
In spite of its non-traditional format this year, Thanksgiving was still a fun holiday and one that emphasized for all of us how much we have to be thankful for: family, good health and the peace of Nature.
Happy belated Thanksgiving to my fellow country people and Happy Thanksgiving ahead to our southern neighbors and friends!