Thanksgiving in the U.S.: traditions, history and the college experience

As you know, on Thanksgiving Day, the is one of the most important holidays in the United States. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November and is a day to give thanks. This celebration has been spreading so much that it has reached to university campusesmaking this day a unique moment to celebrate events with friends and classmates. For this reason, since MAE , we wanted to bring you this article where we tell you all about Thanksgiving in the United States, its traditions, history and the college experience there.

History of Thanksgiving

The history of Thanksgiving dates back to the first English settlers who arrived in North America in the 16th century. These settlers celebrated a day of prayer and thanksgiving for the crops they had received.

The first official celebration of Thanksgiving Day took place in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. On that occasion, the English settlers celebrated a large meal with the Native Americans who had helped them survive during their first winter in the New World.

Traditions you didn’t know about this holiday

Thanksgiving Day is a celebration of family and friends. Families gather to enjoy a big meal, which usually includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn on the cob and other typical dishes.

Thanksgiving in the U.S.: traditions, history and the college experience

Of course, some of the most famous and must-have traditions in the United States on this holiday are:

  • Watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City

This parade is one of the most anticipated events of the year in New York. It takes place on Thanksgiving morning and tour the city’s Fifth Avenue.

It includes giant balloons of popular cartoon and movie characters, marching bands, floats and performers. It is free to watch from the street, but can also be viewed on television.

  • It is a tradition to watch the Thanksgiving Day soccer game between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys.

Thanksgiving in the U.S.: traditions, history and the college experience

It is one of the most important games of the NFL season. It is carried out on Thanksgiving Day in the afternoon and is nationally televised. It has become a popular tradition in the United States and is an opportunity for families and friends to get together to watch soccer.

  • Giving thanks

This is an important part of Thanksgiving. Families often gather to give thanks for their loved ones, their health, their home and their opportunities.

Giving thanks can be a way of expressing gratitude for the good things in life. It can also be a way to connect with others and build community.

There are many ways to give thanks. Some people write thank you letters or cards. Others pray or meditate to express their gratitude. And other people simply take a moment to reflect on the good things in their lives.

The university experience not to be missed

U.S. colleges and universities typically celebrate Thanksgiving Day in different ways. Some universities close for the holiday, while others maintain their classes.

The Universities that close often organize special events for students who stay on campus. These events may include community dinners, games and recreational activities.

  • Community dinnersMany colleges offer free or low-cost community dinners for students who cannot go home for Thanksgiving. These dinners are usually include traditional Thanksgiving food, such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce called Cranberry Sauce.

Thanksgiving in the U.S.: traditions, history and the college experience

Our student Pau Guillem celebrating Thanksgiving with his roommate’s family and enjoying the famous Pumpkin Pie and Blueberry Pie.

  • Some universities organize activities for students during Thanksgiving. These activities may include games, sports, movies or concerts.

For their part, international students studying in the United States can participate in Thanksgiving celebrations. in different ways. Among the best known are:

  • Invite your American classmates or friends to your home for a traditional meal.
  • Join a community dinner organized by your university.
  • Visit a nursing home or homeless shelter to serve food.

How to immerse yourself in the cultural tradition

If you are an international student studying in the U.S., Thanksgiving Day is a great time for you and your family. is a unique opportunity to get an insight into the American cultural tradition. From MAE, we offer you some tips on how to do it:

  • Learn about the history and meaning of Thanksgiving.
  • Learn about the traditions and customs associated with this holiday.
  • Participate in Thanksgiving celebrations at your college or community.

As you may have seen, Thanksgiving is a very special day for us. can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds and even if you are a college student, that doesn’t mean you won’t celebrate this holiday. On the contrary, you have already been able to observe the number of scenarios that are presented in the universities for Thanksgiving Day. This time of year is full of festivities and events, as after Thanksgiving, Black Friday begins the following Friday, followed by the long-awaited holiday shopping.

If you want to live your own American dream and learn more about scholarships to study in the United States, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to guide you in everything you need.