Considered to be a national holiday in the United States, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is being celebrated in the country since 1789. Abraham Lincoln declared it as a Federal Holiday.
The History of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day was originated as a harvest festival. The first Thanksgiving dinner took place in Texas, in the 16th century. Historians believe that a floating vehicle which was carrying about 102 pilgrims, the Mayflower passed through the Atlantic. The journey was full of terrible storms. So, passengers adopted singing as a method to comfort themselves. They decided to change their destination from Virginia to Plymouth due to weather. After a 65-day long journey arrived at Virginia but almost 46 pilgrims died because of cold weather.
Squanto, a native Indian taught them the skill of growing food. However, a severe drought struck the place and the survivors decided to fast and pray to god for a plentiful harvest. The rains answered their calls and grew corn, beans, and pumpkins.
To thank the god, Governor William Bradford organized a feast. Though it lacks evidence but is still believed to be the first instance of Halloween.
The Food Eaten on Thanksgiving Day
In most cases, Turkey is served in the Thanksgiving dinner. This is the reason it is also called the Turkey Day. Every year millions of turkeys are raised for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The dinner also includes potatoes, pumpkin pies, cranberry sauce and a variety of other vegetables.
Thanksgiving has been celebrated form a long time but its traditions are still celebrated. These include Family Reunions, feasting and different types of games. Also, people exchange gifts with their loved ones.
Public Life on Thanksgiving Day
In the USA, most government offices, buildings and organizations are closed on Thanksgiving Day. Astonishingly, some offices give their workers a 4-day holiday on the Thanksgiving weekend, declaring Friday after the Thanksgiving Day a holiday.
It is considered as the busiest day for travel in the USA because the public transit does not usually follow regular timetables.
Thanksgiving Day Facts
- The first Thanksgiving was organized in the autumn 1621 and included 50 pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians.
- Thanksgiving day was not declared as a national holiday until 200 years later
- Turkey was not the part of the menus served at first Thanksgiving
- Forks were also absent from the first Thanksgiving feast
- The Thanksgiving was moved up a week from the fourth Thursday of November by President Roosevelt to help the shopping season during the Depression Era. But was again changed back to fourth Thursday of November 2 years later.
- Wild turkeys can run up to 20 miles per hour when they are scared but domestic turkeys are bread heavier to make them slow.
- Americans eat 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving.
- California is the place which consumes most turkeys on the Thanksgiving Day.
- President Jefferson refused to declare Thanksgiving a holiday because he believed in the separation of both church and state. Since Thanksgiving involved prayer he believed that declaring it as a holiday would violate the first one.
- Interestingly, only 88 % percent of Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
- The USA has four places named as Turkey, another four as Cranberry and 34 at Plymouth.
- Estimated 50 million pumpkin pies are eaten each Thanksgiving.
- Almost 32 million people begin their Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving. Don’t be left out.
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