Imagine everyone sitting around the dining table and a delicious spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Which holiday is being talked about here? Any guesses? Yes, it is indeed Thanksgiving, a festival that is considered a very important festival in the United States. Let’s know more about Thanksgiving through this article.
History Of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, and people celebrate the festival on the fourth Thursday of November each year. This year, the festival falls on November 23rd, Thursday. It was in 1621 that the Plymouth colonists from England and the Native Americans from Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast. It was one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colony. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each year in November. In 1817, New York became the first state to adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday. The day celebrates the blessings of the past year.
There is much more to Thanksgiving than eating food, and there are a few traditions everyone follows. Below are some of them:
Watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
Watching Macy’s parade is the most famous holiday tradition in the United States. In New York City, people line the streets of Manhattan to watch the parade. The parade is known for its giant inflatable balloons that float between the skyscrapers.
Break The Wishbone For Luck
Once people carve the Turkey, they keep aside the wishbone (Y-shaped bone) to dry. Once the meal is over, two people make their wishes and break the bone. The one with the bigger part of the will receive good luck and have their wish come true.
Thanksgiving is the time to be grateful for everything people have and reflect on whatever has happened until now. It is a learning and a wonderful experience to know how the previous year went for everyone.
Watch An American Football Game
Everyone loves to watch football in the US, and the idea of games being played on Thanksgiving Day dates back to 1876. Friends and Families watch the match, and sometimes, they split into a team and play games.
Keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving, many communities around the US hold annual food drives that collect non-perishable packaged and canned foods for people in need. They also host Thanksgiving dinners so that everyone has a place to enjoy a warm meal. Some people also volunteer at the local food bank to sort food, stock shelves, cook meals, and serve food at a shelter.
Thanksgiving Celebrations Across Countries
Given below are some ways countries celebrate Thanksgiving across the world:
The first Thanksgiving in Canada happened in 1578. The English explorer Martin Frobisher organised the Thanksgiving to celebrate a successful journey to North America. The country enjoys a long weekend, and the feast is similar to the American celebration. But each family has their unique spread.
The annual “Chung Chiu” Moon Festival falls on September 29, 2023. Chinese families meet for three days and have a feast featuring mooncakes that contain duck egg yolks, lotus seed paste, and sesame seeds. The celebration includes worshipping the moon and lighting paper lanterns.
Korean Thanksgiving is known as ‘Chuseok’. The Thanksgiving tradition started when King Silla started a month-long weaving competition, and the winning team got food, drinks, and gifts from the losing team.
The indigenous Kadazan-Dusuns celebrate the festival in May with a two-day public holiday. The festival pays tribute to the Goddess Huminodun or Ponompuan, who saved mortals from famine. They believe that this sacrifice made sure that the land remained fertile.
Thanksgiving is a festival to reflect upon the past year and be grateful for everything that belongs to you. It is the most popular festival in America, and they celebrate by having a large meal with their families and giving back to the community.