Bonne fête de l’action de grâces !
bun fet duh lack-seeYAW duh GRAHSS! Click below to hear this pronounced.
It doesn’t roll trippingly off the tongue, does it? That’s because it doesn’t exist. The holiday, that is…anywhere except in the U.S. Oh yes, our Canadian neighbors have a holiday they call Thanksgiving, but it’s not a big deal like the U.S. holiday.
In Canada, they don’t make a case out of wishing each other a happy holiday. They don’t have a traditional feast (turkey, stuffing, cranberries…). That’s because the holiday originated with the Pilgrims, Squanto and his friends, and the rest. For Canadians, it’s mostly just a harvest festival.
As for the name of the holiday: thanksgiving in English means the act of giving thanks. In French, there’s no one-word way to say it. It’s simply l’action de grâces, the act of thanks. That’s the religious term, and if you capitalize it, it’s the name of the holiday.
It’s a little weird to offer this wish in French, since the holiday doesn’t exist. There’s not even one single agreed-upon way to offer the greeting. But for my American readers, the wish is sincere. We have so much to be thankful for. Please join me in pausing to say merci for all the blessings you enjoy!
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