Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. It is a time for families and friends to come together, enjoy a traditional meal, and express gratitude for the blessings in their lives. In this article, we will explore the history of Thanksgiving, When Is Thanksgiving day, the customs associated with the holiday. We also explain why it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
History of Thanksgiving
The origins of Thanksgiving can be traced back to the early days of American history, specifically to the year 1621. After a long and difficult winter, the Pilgrims, who were English settlers in what is now Massachusetts, celebrated their first successful harvest.
The celebration was attended by the Pilgrims and members of the Wampanoag tribe, who had helped the settlers by teaching them how to grow crops and hunt game. The feast lasted for three days and included a variety of foods, such as turkey, fish, venison, and pumpkin.
Although the Pilgrims did not call this celebration “Thanksgiving” at the time, it is considered the first Thanksgiving in American history. The holiday gradually became an annual tradition, and by the late 1700s, it was celebrated in many parts of the United States.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” This proclamation helped to solidify Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November ever since.
Customs Associated with Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is typically associated with certain customs and traditions. Many families gather for a special meal, which usually includes a roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Some families also enjoy other dishes, such as ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, or pecan pie.
In addition to the meal, Thanksgiving is a time for expressing gratitude for the blessings in our lives. Some families go around the table and share what they are thankful for. While others write their thoughts on slips of paper and put them in a “gratitude jar.” Some families also participate in community service activities, such as volunteering at a local food bank or shelter.
Another popular custom associated with this day is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which takes place in New York City. The parade features giant balloons, floats, and marching bands, and is watched by millions of people.
Why Is this day Celebrated on the Fourth Thursday of November?
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November because of a decision made by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. At that time, the USA was in the midst of the Great Depression, and retailers were concerned about the short holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
To address this issue, Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up one week, to the third Thursday in November. However, this decision was met with strong opposition from many Americans, who felt that it was disrespectful to tamper with a traditional holiday.
Congress passed a law in 1941 that established the fourth Thursday in November as the official Thanksgiving holiday. This law has remained in effect ever since, and this day is now celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.
Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday in the United States, with a rich history and a variety of customs. Whether you celebrate with a big family meal, community service activities, or by watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.