Americans began preparing their Thanksgiving menus weeks ago, and have likely already purchased the turkeys and stuffing ingredients needed for the holiday, which falls this year on Thursday, Nov. 24.
Aside from food, arguably the main component of the day, the holiday is a cherished time of year when Americans come together to celebrate what they are grateful for, whether with family or friends.
In the United States, Thanksgiving is a cultural holiday that symbolizes peace, gratitude, and the beginning of the Christmas season.
What is Thanksgiving and where does it come from?
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States celebrated in November.
The annual holiday is in honor of the “first” Thanksgiving in America, in 1619 in Virginia, and in 1621, when settlers from Plymouth, Massachusetts, later known as the Pilgrims, shared a meal with the Wampanoag Indians. , who were natives of the land.
The after party was in honor of the help the Pilgrims received from the Native Americans to farm and survive their first harsh winter and lasted three days.
Later, U.S. presidents, including George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison, called for days of thanksgiving throughout their presidencies.
However, it was not until 1863, during the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln declared that a National Thanksgiving Day would be celebrated each November to be celebrated throughout the country.
When is Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving Day takes place each year on the fourth Thursday in November.
This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 24.
Why do Americans celebrate it and what do they do?
Although Thanksgiving may originally have had religious significance, the day has become a largely secular holiday.
Most Americans consider the holiday to be a day to come together and express gratitude through food, family and football, with several NFL teams playing during the holiday.
During some Thanksgiving celebrations, people write down what they are grateful for and then read the pieces of paper aloud.
In schools, children learn about the holiday by coloring pictures of pilgrims, turkeys and the Mayflower, the ship on which the settlers arrived.
The day is also celebrated with the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
The world’s largest Thanksgiving parade includes giant cartoon balloons floating above the city sky, as well as marching bands and dancers.
After Thanksgiving, a month’s worth of winter holiday shopping begins, and Black Friday kicks off the season.
Where is it celebrated?
Thanksgiving is one of the most important cultural holidays in the United States, however, Canada also has its own Thanksgiving, the second Monday in October, and Liberia celebrates Thanksgiving on the first Thursday. of November.
What do people eat on Thanksgiving?
In the United States, turkeys are an integral part of Thanksgiving, and most dinners include the bird.
It is estimated that 46 million turkeys are killed annually during the holiday; However, the president pardons one turkey each year.
But Americans who don’t eat meat or follow a vegan lifestyle don’t have to worry about missing out, as there are numerous vegan and vegetarian options for Thanksgiving.
Americans also enjoy Thanksgiving favorites like yams topped with marshmallows, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cornbread, and pumpkin pie.
Why is Thanksgiving Day controversial?
Although many Americans view Thanksgiving as a beloved holiday, some who have abandoned the holiday consider it a celebration of the conquest of Native Americans. The celebration has become controversial as Thanksgiving has a controversial history that extends far beyond when the holiday was first celebrated.
In addition to being a holiday steeped in cultural appropriation, the period of history in the United States is often whitewashed, leading some Americans to ignore the holiday.