November 26th: Thanksgiving Day (United States)

Thanksgiving Day is observed each year in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November

Thanksgiving, also called the Harvest Festival, is a National Holiday of the United States. It is usually celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year. This year, it falls on the 26th of November. It is not an international festival, however, it is celebrated in Canada, Grenada, Philippines, Netherlands, Liberia and Saint Lucia. In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October each year.

History

Thanksgiving originates way back to the 16th Century when the first Thanksgiving Dinner took place in Texas, USA. It is said that a small ship named Mayflower was sailing across the Atlantic Ocean carrying 102 pilgrims. Due to storms, their journey was very arduous. After 66 days of travel they reached Plymouth and could not go any further due to bad weather. Even 46 pilgrims died of the bad cold.

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The survivors started learning to grow food and find a living there, however, a severe drought followed. The pilgrims started praying and requesting the lord for a good and bountiful harvest. The rains answered their prayers. This led to growth of pumpkin, corn and beans. In 1621, Governor William Bradford organized a 3-day feast to thank the Lord for his blessings.

Significance

President Abraham Lincoln was the first US President to declare Thanksgiving as a public holiday. This day celebrates the harvest of the previous year and blessings by the Lord. The traditional Thanksgiving meal typically includes Turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie, potatoes, and bread stuffing. As far as traffic is concerned, this is the busiest time of the year as families gather together to celebrate the festival. It is also known to be the ideal time to start shopping for Christmas gifts.

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