The first Thanksgiving Day in Canada after Confederation was observed on April 5, 1872 to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness. Before then, thanksgiving days were observed beginning in 1799 but did not occur every year. Starting in 1879 Thanksgiving Day was observed every year but the date was proclaimed annually and changed year to year. The theme of the Thanksgiving holiday also changed year to year to reflect an important event to be thankful for. In the early years it was for an abundant harvest and occasionally for a special anniversary. After the first world war it was for Armistace Day and more recently and including today it's been a day of general thanksgiving. In 1957, it was proclaimed by the Government of Canada to be observed on the second Monday in October for every year thereafter. Thanksgiving is a national holiday in Canada.