The happy family festival, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States, Canada and many other countries. This day observes the feast of the Pilgrim Colonists and the Wampanoag members at Plymouth in 1621. Thanksgiving Day is an annual single-day holiday for offering thanks for what one receives at the end of the harvest season.
It is a special day of thanking God for His blessings and also thanking the loved ones for their support and love. The best part of the festival is feasting with one�s family. In the US, the day falls on the Fourth Thursday of November, whereas in Canada, the celebration occurs in the second Monday of October.
Origin of Thanksgiving in the US
In Texas, the town El Paso is known to have the first Thanksgiving Day in the US. Back then it was not a harvest celebration. The first Thanksgiving mass took place in April 30, 1598 in North America.
The Pilgrims expressed their gratefulness to Squanto, as without the help of this Native American, it would not be possible for them to grow corn and catch eel. Squanto was also their interpreter. However, at that time in 1621, this was not a Thanksgiving observance; it was more of a day to celebrate their first harvest.
Thanksgiving in Canada
The Thanksgiving is a three-day weekend in Canada. This liturgical celebration is related to the continental European and the English Harvest festival. The festivities call for adorning the Churches with corn, pumpkins, cornucopias, wheat sheaves and other harvest items. The Canadians take the Thanksgiving meal on any day of the three-day weekend. This holiday is more of a great time for outdoor activities, like fishing, hunting, hiking and family getaways, rather than a family occasion among the French Canadians.
The Thanksgiving Day customs include praying to God in homes and Churches, thanking Him for His blessings. Feasting with one�s family is an integral part of the festival; it can be a great experience to enjoy roasted turkey with the family.
It is a day for sending messages to the dear ones and expressing gratitude for them through Thanksgiving cards. People also decorate their homes with fresh flowers, wreathes and dried flowers. The tables are decorated with antique silver cutlery and Chinaware.
The Thanksgiving Food
The US serves a traditional spread of meals on Thanksgiving Day. The predominant item on the food list is turkey and that is why this day is also referred to as the �Turkey Day�. The other favorite food items are sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing the mashed potatoes with gravy, pumpkin pie, the Indian corn and other harvest vegetables.
The Thanksgiving Games
A popular tradition of Thanksgiving Day is watching NFL football. The traditional game that took place between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions still continues.
When President Lincoln declared the Thanksgiving Day to be an official holiday, the parades began. It is a way of revealing the country�s discipline and military strength. Today, parades are coupled with celebrations and musical shows on the Thanksgiving Day.