The United States and Canada mainly celebrate the Thanksgiving Day. It was originally a day set for giving thanks for the blessing of the good harvest and the previous year. While Thanksgiving Day has historical roots in cultural and religious traditions, some countries have long celebrated in a secular way too.
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the US and on the second Monday of October in Canada. Several other regions around the world hold similar celebrations. It is a day to give thanks for the blessings of the preceding year and the harvest as well.
Thanksgiving was traditionally a cultural and religious celebration, but today many people in Canada and the United States celebrate this day regardless of their culture or beliefs. Similar holidays also exist around the world in other cultures and countries, but they’re held on different days and have different names.
The only ones unlikely to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast would be the turkeys. Ceremonies to give thanks are popular in near all religions, particularly after harvests. Thanksgiving celebration no longer has much of its original religious significance in most American households; instead, it now focuses on cooking and sharing a generous meal with friends and family.
Turkey has become all but synonymous with the Thanksgiving. But, it may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the first inaugural feast in 1621. Nowadays, however, almost 90% of the Americans eat the bird—whether deep-fried, baked or roasted —on Thanksgiving, according to National Turkey Federation.
Other traditional foods include mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. Volunteering is a Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities usually host free dinners and hold food drives for the less fortunate.
Thanksgiving is a holiday where families and friends get together, eat tasty food, and even reflect upon their blessings. It is a time for thanks, a time for reflection, and a time to enjoy each other’s company. Of course, a chance to eat more delicious food than we should and then take a peaceful afternoon nap of the year but I presumed you knew that already.
However, apart from our family traditions, how much do we know about Thanksgiving? Today, we will look at interesting facts about Thanksgiving Day:
1. The United States held their first Thanksgiving in Plymouth in 1621. A good harvest prompted the feast and Puritans, and Pilgrims celebrated it.
2. The Friday after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday in the US and is the first official shopping day of Christmas.
3. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made the last Thursday of November be a national day of Thanksgiving.
4. Sarah Josepha Hale, the writer of Mary Had a Little Lamb is believed to be the person who persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.
5. Every year the President of the US pardons a turkey. The lucky turkey is guaranteed to live freely for the entire part of life and will never end up on a turkey platter.
6. The first Canadian Thanksgiving is believed to have happened in 1578 when an explorer Martin Frobisher decided to hold a Thanksgiving celebration for having survived his journey from England.
7. It’s against the law for department stores, supermarkets, and some other big box stores in Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island to be open on Thanksgiving.
8. Minnesota is the leading turkey-producing state in the US. Six states—Minnesota, Arkansas, North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, and Virginia —account for about two-thirds of the 248 million turkeys which will be raised in the United States this year.
9. Upwards of nearly 42.2 million Americans travel 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday every year, the American Automobile Association estimates.