Fun Facts – Thanksgiving USA
When is Thanksgiving in the USA?
- Thanksgiving is on the 24th November 2011, 22nd November 2012, 28th November 2013, 27th November 2014, 26th November 2015.
- Thanksgiving is held on the 4th Thursday in November every year. Most people finish work on the Wednesday and take Friday, Saturday and Sunday off work.
- Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the current date for Thanksgiving be observed by all States of America in 1863 in an attempt to unify the Northern and Southern states during the civil war. Prior to this Thanksgiving was observed on different dates in different states.
What is Thanksgiving?
- Thanksgiving was traditionally a religious celebration. It was an opportunity for a community to give thanks to God for a common cause, i.e. a harvest, safe journey etc. Today, religious celebrations are still observed with many families saying ‘Grace’ before their Thanksgiving meal.
Why do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?
- The celebration originates from the traditional Harvest Festivals in Europe. The tradition was taken with the first settlers of the USA.
- Modern Thanksgiving dates back to 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, although similar celebrations can be traced back even further. The settlers at Plymouth are commonly referred to as ‘Pilgrims’ or ‘Pilgrim Fathers’.
Who were the Pilgrims?
- The Pilgrims were English settlers who left England to find religious freedom. Initially they settled in Holland, but nervous they would lose their own heritage decided to start a new colony in the new lands of America.
What do Americans eat at Thanksgiving?
- Native foods of America are eaten as a roast dinner such as stuffing, mashed potato, gravy, seasonal vegetables, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweetcorn and pumpkin pie.
- The modern day Thanksgiving mimics the food eaten on that first Thanksgiving.
How is Thanksgiving Celebrated?
- Americans take a long weekend off school and work.
- People like to spend time with their families and eat lots of food.
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan, New York has occurred every year since 1924. Floats with various themes and huge balloon characters and marching bands parade through Manhattan ending at Macy’s department store.
- American Football is played on Thanksgiving day.
Did you know…
- Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the 2nd Monday of October. It is presumed the date is earlier since winter sets in much sooner in Canada.
- Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as ‘Turkey Day’ given the prominence of Turkey at Thanksgiving feasts.
- Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. It is named Thanksgiving because of the retail sales putting retailers’ books ‘back in the black’.