HAPPY THANKSGIVING


Thanksgiving

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

-Oprah Winfrey

Celebrated in a secular way all across the world, Thanksgiving is a day of offering thanks for the blessing of the harvest and also of the previous year. It is mainly celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November and has deep cultural and religious roots.

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History

The tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving Day dates back to the histories of Plymoth and Massachussets Bay colonies. In 1621, an observance took place when Plymouth governor William Bradford requested local Indians to join the Pilgrims in a festival aimed to express thankfulness and gratitude for the reward of the season.

It became a yearly tradition throughout New England in the 17th century. In the year 1789, President George Washington was the first president to announce a Thanksgiving Holiday on November 26 which was a Tuesday. In the year 1863, President Abraham Lincoln affirmed Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November. Lincoln’s model was followed every year by every subsequent president until 1939. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1939, deviated from this custom and declared November 23 as Thanksgiving Day. In 1941, he signed a bill and officially made the fourth Thursday in November the holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

Celebrations

Needless to say, the day means different things to different people but for most people, Thanksgiving Day stands for parades, merry meals, football, friends and family, and not to miss, turkey. People love to catch up, spend time together and offer thanks for good things in their lives. Traditional foods are an important part of the celebrations. At some places, the entire family participates in preparing the food. Some of the conventional foods include turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy and sweet potatoes. Sweet pie is served to conclude the meal. After the meal, families are involved in extra activities. They like to take walks. Some prefer playing card games.

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