Thanksgiving is one of the most popular days in the United States. People eagerly await to have a great time each year. Thanksgiving ceremonies are celebrated on different dates in the United States, Canada, Saint Lucia, and Grenada. Basically, it began a long time ago as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessings and harvest. It is usually celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and a few other places. Thanksgiving traditions have historical and cultural traditions but it is also celebrated as a secular holiday. Families gather together and enjoy meals which includes a special grilled or baked turkey; which is one of the popular highlights of the celebration.
A Brief History of Thanksgiving Day
The origins of Thanksgiving Day can be traced back to the harvest festival when Americans gave thanks to god for their bountiful autumn harvest and all the other success achieved during the year. The first Thanksgiving dinner happened in Texas during the 16th century when a sailing vessel known as the Mayflower crossed the Atlantic carrying about 102 pilgrims through terrible storms and bad weather.
The first president of the United States George Washington proclaimed the day of Thanksgiving on November 26th, 1789. It was a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to acknowledge the favors of God with a grateful heart. The American President Abraham Lincoln declared it as a federal holiday in 1863. And it was a holiday for all the American workers too.
When is Thanksgiving Day Usually Celebrated?
The Americans observe Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November every year. This day is followed by the most popular shopping extravaganza “The Black Friday” kick starting the start of the Christmas shopping season. In 1863 president Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that this celebration needs to happen on the last Thursday of November.
During the 1930s it was celebrated on the fifth Thursday of November and business owners complained to Franklin D. Roosevelt that it would hurt retailers since there was lesser time to shop for Christmas. Hence to solve this issue Congress passed it as a law in 1941 for it to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
How is Thanksgiving Day Celebrated?
Usually, families and friends get together for a grand meal that normally includes roast turkey, stuffing, vegetables, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie. Some cities and towns have parades during the Thanksgiving weekend. It is a celebration time for families and friends across the US and a few other countries. Most businesses, schools, colleges, and organizations are closed and this is one of the busiest travel times in the US. People exchange gifts with their loved ones and share beautiful cards and messages. Some also attend the popular Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York City to enjoy some thrilling performances. Some people write down a list of things that they are thankful for and read it aloud during the get-together.
People offer prayers to God for his grace and also watch NFL football. Some games like the scavenger hunt and picture puzzle are a popular tradition during the celebrations. Turkey is the most popular food served during Thanksgiving dinner and this day is sometimes known as Turkey day. People also gather on this day to celebrate their milestones and achievements during the year. Some decorate their homes and do shopping since the Black Friday Sale comes right after Thanksgiving day.
People eagerly wait to celebrate Thanksgiving every year and do enjoy their mealtimes together which is the highlight of this day. It is indeed a special time and the weather is slowly getting cooler and some places would also receive their first snow of the season. There is a lot of fun and excitement in the air and kids enjoy playing games or watching their favorite movies. Some families prefer to travel during this long weekend break to explore unseen places or to meet their dear ones. So prepare well in advance and make relevant plans to have a great time with family and friends and invite them well in advance to celebrate Thanksgiving. Decorate your homes with some interesting home decor and gear up for the Christmas season too.