Thanksgiving is an American holiday usually observed as an expression of gratitude to God. Thanksgiving is an occasion to give thanks to God for abundant autumn harvest. In the United States, this holiday is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. In Canada, harvest ends earlier in the year. Hence, this holiday, observed as Columbus Day, is celebrated on second Tuesday in October.
First Thanksgiving was celebrated by Pilgrims in 1621 to celebrate abundant harvest in new land. Celebration was based on harvest traditions colonists brought with them from England. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with a feast shared among friends and family. In the United States, this is an important family holiday. People travel across the country to be with their family members for this holiday. Thanksgiving holiday lasts for four day over the weekend in the United States. Hence, Americans are given relevant Thursday and Friday off. Thanksgiving is almost entirely celebrated at home.
Culture and Tradition:
American families gather at home to enjoy football. They feast on turkey and grandma’s apple pie. In addition to food and football, Thanksgiving is also about friendship and partnership. Pilgrims and Native American Indians were rivals at one point of time. However, during the harvest season, they reaped successful harvest by working together. On first Thanksgiving, Pilgrims and American Indians together ate, sang and danced for three days. Traditionally, Thanksgiving feast includes turkey with dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and rolls. Both- pumpkin and pecan pies, contributed by Native American Indians, are served as desserts for Thanksgiving feast.