Every year, on the fourth Thursday of November, one of the most popular holidays in the United States is celebrated. It is the famous“Thanksgiving Day”. or as it is known in English“Thanksgiving“.
This is a nationwide holiday where large family gatherings are organized with a delicious dinner featuring a stuffed turkey.
This American holiday dates back to the encounter between English settlers and a group of Wampanoag Indians in Plymouth in 1621.
The Europeans, who had arrived on American soil the previous year, endured a very harsh winter, with only half surviving. It was then that the natives taught them to grow corn and fish.
Image: First Thanksgiving in Plymouth.
Brownscombe painting, 1914. (Public domain)
At November 1621, after the colonists’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a feast of celebration and thanksgiving by inviting a group of Native American allies and it would become the first Thanksgiving Day in history, lasting up to three days.
This holiday would not be officially declared a national holiday until 1863 under President Lincoln. He declared that the fourth Thursday of the month of November would be celebrated annually as the“thanksgiving” holiday.
THANKSGIVING FUN FACTS:
- People eat a light breakfast to enjoy all the food they have prepared for dinner. This is usually done earlier, around 5:00 pm.
- Americans are normally on vacation from Wednesday through Sunday. Some universities give their students the whole week off.
- The main dish is a stuffed turkey. We call this “stuffing” a mixture of bread crumbs, fried onion, bacon, and all mixed in poultry broth.
- Families participate and do other activities such as watching a parade, running a 5k in costume or watching the NFL.
- The most common dessert is pumpkin pie but some families also bake apple pies.
- In recent years,“friendsgiving” has also been celebrated during this week. This one is celebrated in the same way but among friends, instead of family members.
- It is estimated that around 280 million turkeys are cooked to celebrate this holiday.
- The“turkey pardoning” tradition whereby the president pardons a turkey is celebrated on Wednesday. This year it was two “Bread” and “Butter” turkeys.
- This is the most congested time of the year in the U.S., both at airports and on highways.
- Many people take advantage of the day to participate in charitable actions, and in many parts of the country, collective meals are organized for the most disadvantaged.
Donald Trump pardons the turkey Thanksgiving Day in the NFL Manhattan Parade on Thanksgiving Day.