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Theydeserveit >> Thanks Giving Day >> Thanksgiving In America

Thanksgiving In America

Thanksgiving has its own story , as far as its connection with America is concerned. Rather than the native Americans, it was the settlers there who started this festival and eventually including the natives in the festivities and gaiety of the day.
Origin of Thanksgiving in America

The Pilgrims who celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day in America were the English natives who migrated from their lands , being the Separatists. They were offered shelter in Holland and enjoyed religious toleration there. But soon the easy Dutch life style made them seek for the New World. They boarded Mayflower on Sept. 6, 1620 and reached Plymouth in November 1620. They faced a bitter winter there and 46 of the original 102 immigrants died by the next fall. Their fortune turned in their favor by the next harvest. The survivors decided to celebrate their first year in New England by observing the Thanksgiving Day with their native Indian friends who had helped the pilgrims survive their first year and taught them farming and fishing.

The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival than a true "Thanksgiving" observance. It lasted three days. This "Thanksgiving" feast was not repeated the following year. The third year brought drought with crops drying in the fields.

Governor Bradford ordered a day of fasting and prayer. It was soon thereafter that the rain came. Governor Bradford called for another Thanksgiving feast again inviting their Indian friends. November 29th of that year was proclaimed, a day of thanksgiving. This date is believed to be the true beginning of the present day Thanksgiving Day.

Since then, the annual celebration of Thanksgiving was held every year, after the harvest. In the October of 1777, 13 colonies joined in the Thanksgiving celebration to commemorate the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a National Day of Thanksgiving in America in 1863. Since then every president proclaimed Thanksgiving , usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November, as the holiday.

Major Attractions

The festival started as a religious belief but has turned into a civil tradition now. Other than sumptuous meals and customary church practices, people also celebrate the day with participating in huge parades and leisure sports. Most of the popular food items for the festival include, a baked or roasted turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet corn and fall vegetables like squashes, and also pumpkin pie. Various Thanksgiving masses are organized by church communities and other spiritual organizations. A family dinner also begins with a grace, a prayer said before and after the meal.

Also popular during Thanksgiving holidays are the craze of travel and vacation. People throng in the clubs and bars to enjoy the festive season and because of the few days' break from schools and offices, some people also prefer an outdoor vacation.

Another hot event of Thanksgiving in America is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, in New York City, which is an annual affair since 1924, in which large balloons, Broadway dancers, and high school marching bands are the best groups to enjoy.

Also various sports are conducted in the American country, during Thanksgiving Festival, for collective entertainment. Football is the favorite amongst people during the festival, though traditional festivals like, Turkey Trotting, which is a road running sport and Pumpkin Chunking contest are specially organized. Other sports are golf, basketball and auto racing, which are popular during Thanksgiving festival.

Thanksgiving in America has been traced out with its significant details, from its origin to its present day importance, by They Deserve It. Log on to They Deserve It to be informed about the Thanksgiving in America.

Last Updated On : October 11, 2011