Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year and is popular in the USA which for this year falls on November 22. The day is filled with feasting, celebrating, family, and sports. It is called Turkey Day in America. However, the history of the day has much more beyond food and sports. Americans feast on traditional delicacies including roasted turkey with curry, yams, corn, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce. It is an annual meal and friends and relatives gather together at each other’s houses for the Thanksgiving feast.
History of Thanksgiving
In the early autumn of the year 1621, Thanksgiving was a three-day feast celebrated at the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts by the pilgrims and the native Americans. The reason for the pilgrims celebrating the day was to thank and show their gratefulness for the full harvest of the season. The way of paying gratefulness to the gods was in the form of a grand feast. The feast at that time comprised fowl, flint corn, porridge, chestnuts, squash, and shellfish.
In the year 1789, Thanksgiving Day was declared as the national day for prayer and thanks by George Washington, the first president of America. The day was then proclaimed as an official federal holiday by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
Common traditions of Thanksgiving
- One of the most common traditions of Thanksgiving is a charity in which some communities form food drives and conduct campaigns to collect non-perishable canned and packaged food items for the underprivileged or the less fortunate.
- The places of worship also offer some special Thanksgiving services such as blessings and prayers that people worship along with their friends and family members.
- Many families share their most precious and worshipped items in their Thanksgiving feasts to keep the Thanksgiving gratitude alive all year.
- Another tradition that is popular on this day is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. In the parade, huge balloons with depictions of popular characters are carried, school and college marching bands are seen in the parade along with music and dance performances.
- For kids, there are a variety of festive crafts such as making turkey to pilgrim hats and Indian feathered headdresses.
- Sports are another essential tradition of Thanksgiving and by American sports, we mean football. Football matches were once a tradition among high schools and colleges, but now the game is played during the Thanksgiving holiday as well.
- When the turkey is placed on the table, a wishbone is taken out after the turkey is roasted, sliced, and tugged on by the members of the family to crack it in half. It is said that whoever breaks the bigger portion of the wishbone gets a special wish granted.
- The day is recognized as the biggest shopping day of the year in America. Shops and showrooms run special offers and discounts that are published in newspapers and other mediums through the consumers and informed. The day after Thanksgiving Day is Black Friday.