Thanksgiving Day Celebration in the United States

November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday of November and it’s the best time in the year to feel gratitude and to organize huge feasts. Not many people know, but Thanksgiving Day is celebrated by more Americans than Christmas. The first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in 1621 by the first settlers, who expressed their gratitude for the great harvest and for Native Americans’ help in growing crops and teaching them how to prepare food.

Turkey

The top 7 things that you need to know about this great national holiday:

  1. Tribute to Native Indians. Until the end of 20th century, many people thought that Thanksgiving Day honored the first pilgrims who offered food to Native Americans. However, they were wrong, because first of all it was celebrated to pay respect to Native Americans who taught pilgrims how to grow crops and cook local food. Secondly, it was the day to express gratitude to God for his blessings. Finally, it had to acknowledge the fact that pilgrims wouldn’t have survived without the help of Indians.  
  2. Travel. Because Thanksgiving Day is a family holiday and families consist of many people who live in different places, a lot of people travel on that day to reach their loved ones. People travel by planes, cars or trains, which makes the Thanksgiving Day one of the busiest travel days of the year in the country.
  3. The Feast. There are many traditional foods, which are an indispensable part of Thanksgiving Day celebration. These foods include a turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce. The pie is often served as a dessert after the main meal. Considering the fact that more than 50 million turkeys are slaughtered on that day to satisfy the appetite of American families, many households choose to serve vegetarian dishes to save the lives of turkeys.  
  4. The Turkey Pardon. There’s an interesting tradition that takes place in the White House on Thanksgiving Day each year. The president of the United States gets a turkey as a gift and traditionally ‘pardons’ it and alternate turkeys so that they can live peacefully on the farm. 
  5. Helping Others. Because on Thanksgiving Day we thank for what we have, many compassionate people choose to spend this day serving food to those who don’t have many things to be grateful for. There are people who choose to serve food to homeless on Thanksgiving Day or donate money to charities.
  6. TV. Television is a huge part of Thanksgiving celebrations, because many families want to see the traditional New York City Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or traditional Thanksgiving football games.
  7. After the Meal. People often enjoy long walk with their families after a large meal, play games together or simply take a nap.

Here are some fast facts to end this article with more food for thought:

  • Canadian people have their own Thanksgiving and they celebrate it in October
  • First Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in 1924
  • Thanksgiving Day became a national holiday in 1863, following the declaration of Abraham Lincoln

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