Facts about Thanksgiving

We found 12 facts about Thanksgiving

The most expected family gathering in US

Thanksgiving is a federal American holiday celebrated in the US and Canada. Its roots date back to 1621, when a group of British settlers known as the Pilgrims, and the indigenous people, the Wampanoag Tribe, held a joint feast to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and for surviving difficult times.

Nowadays, Thanksgiving Day is an occasion for family gatherings. People usually gather with relatives and friends to celebrate the holiday together, share a meal, and spend time together.

Characteristics of the holiday are traditional dishes such as roast turkey, stuffed chicken, pumpkin tart, potato pancakes, cranberry sauce, and many others. These dishes are meant to reflect the spirit of the original Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving parades are held to celebrate the holiday, as well as social events to integrate local communities. One of the most spectacular events of this type is the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Thanksgiving is a time of joy, gratitude, and celebrating together. Nowadays, it is also a shopping season, starting with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day is a federal holiday celebrated on various dates in October and November in the US and Canada.

The holiday is also celebrated in Grenada (an island nation in the Caribbean Sea), Saint Lucia (an island in the Caribbean), Liberia (a country on the west coast of Africa), and unofficially in Brazil, Germany, the Philippines, the Australian territory of Norfolk Island (Australia’s outer territory) and the Dutch city of Leiden.

In the US, it is celebrated on the last Thursday of November.

In Canada, Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October, and in other countries, it takes place on various dates, including Liberia on the first Thursday in November, Grenada on the 25th of October, and Norfolk Island on the last Wednesday in November.

Thanksgiving is celebrated to commemorate the first harvest festival of Plymouth colony residents in 1621.

Plymouth Colony was the first permanent English colony in New England from 1620 to 1691 and the second permanent English colony in America, after Jamestown Colony. The New England colonies were part of the Thirteen Colonies and eventually became five of the six states of New England, a region encompassing the six states of the northeastern US.

Plymouth Colony was settled by the 102 passengers of the Mayflower, a small wooden sailing ship on which English colonists, the so-called Pilgrims, arrived in North America in 1620. The settlement served as the colony’s capital and developed as the city of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The colony was founded by a group of Puritan separatists who became known as the Pilgrims. They made a treaty with the chief of the Wampanoag tribe, who assisted and supported them. Legend has it that Thanksgiving was first celebrated after a successful harvest in 1621. The Pilgrims, along with the Wampanoag tribe, celebrated this success.

Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, but it has also long been celebrated as a secular holiday.

In most religions and cultures, special ceremonies and prayers of thanksgiving after the harvest of crops are common. The history of Thanksgiving in North America has its roots in the English Protestant Reformation traditions. In this tradition, so-called Days of Thanksgiving are celebrated–special blessings, seen as coming from God, in response to events considered acts of special providence. Also, a successful harvest, according to this tradition, is treated as an act of providence and requires celebration in the form of Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving Day, Americans eat a family meal, attend services, and watch special sporting events.

Above that, they also participate in special parades held in cities to celebrate the holiday. Among the most important are the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Day Parade in Philadelphia, America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade in Plymouth, McDonald’s Parade in Chicago, and the classic Bayou Thanksgiving Day Parade in New Orleans.

The modern Thanksgiving holiday was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

The holiday was celebrated on different dates, depending on the state. In the early 19th century, the last Thursday in November became the customary date for most states, coinciding with the Evacuation Day holiday, commemorating the day the British left the US after the War of Independence. Eventually, Thanksgiving Day replaced Evacuation Day.

In the end, President Abraham Lincoln established a national Thanksgiving Day for all states for the last Thursday in November. The president’s decision was influenced by New England resident Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote letters to politicians for nearly 40 years advocating an official holiday.

The New York parade is organized by the American department store chain Macy’s.

It is held every year and was first organized in 1924. The three-hour parade takes place in Manhattan and ends in front of Macy’s Herald Square. It takes place from 9 am to 12 pm and has been televised nationally on NBC since 1953. More than 44 million people watch the parade on television, and several million watch it in person. The parade has featured balloons depicting mostly cartoon characters since 1927. The most frequent character in the history of the parade has been the dog Snoopy.

In 2023, the parade started half an hour early, at 8:30 am, making it the first to start earlier in almost a century. Above, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph was the first celebrity and the first black person to play Mrs. Santa Claus in the history of the parade. There also happened to be three disruptions of the parade by pro-Palestinian protesters (related to the Israeli-Palestinian war).

Starting with Thanksgiving, the so-called “holiday season” begins, and its first day is Black Friday.

Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US. Many stores then offer heavily-promoted sales at discounted prices. Some stores open as early as midnight and even on Thanksgiving Day. The sales last until Monday (Cyber Monday) or throughout the week (Cyber Week).

Black Friday is the busiest and most profitable shopping day of the year in the US.

Associated with Thanksgiving is the Feast of Friends.

Usually, Thanksgiving is celebrated with a family meal. Since 2010, a new tradition has emerged involving sharing a meal with friends. This can take place on another day or as an alternative event on Thanksgiving Day. The holiday celebrated in this way is called Friends giving.

Thanksgiving is a holiday more celebrated by many Americans than Christmas.

During this holiday, as a rule, the whole family gets together. Many people travel, often to the other end of the US, to sit down together at the table. Traditional food such as roast turkey, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie are not to be missed. The feast usually begins with a joint prayer or a speech by the host of the house.

During this holiday, Americans eat about 47 million turkeys.

Traditionally, the pardoning of one turkey by the President of the US takes place before the holiday. “Turkey Pardoning Ceremony”–the act of gracing a selected turkey is an annual presidential tradition that was started by George Bush in 1989.

A whole roasted turkey is served, with cranberry sauce and mashed sweet potatoes usually served as side dishes. After consumption, two people grab a previously removed “wishbone” and try their hand at pulling the bone. The person who manages to break most of the bone will have a dream come true.

The first meal of the first Americans on the moon was roast turkey.

Perfect turkey preparation is a test of being a true American.

One of the largest turkey companies, Butterball, has been running a toll-free phone line for more than 35 years to inform customers about how to prepare a turkey. It reportedly receives more than 100.000 calls a year.

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