Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the 4th (or last) Thursday in November every years in the United States & Canada
- It originated as a harvest festival.
- 1789, George Washington declared holiday after proclamation.
- 1863 – It as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.
- Holiday season begins with thanksgiving followed by Christmas and the New Year.
Thanks giving helps getting society on track:
- Encourages charity
- Be moral, ethical and kind human being
- Improves family relations,
- Binds society and improve harmonious living
- Cross religion, faith human bonding
- Improve faith in almighty and makes one responsible citizen.
- Spreads smiles and joy
US President, George Washington, on October 3, 1789 made the proclamation and created the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government of the United States of America:
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
George Washington again proclaimed a Thanksgiving in 1795.
Hungry diners line up outside a church for a free Thanksgiving meal
- The poor are often provided with food at Thanksgiving time. Most communities have annual food drives that collect non-perishable packaged and canned foods, and corporations sponsor charitable distributions of staple foods and Thanksgiving dinners. The Salvation Army enlists volunteers to serve Thanksgiving dinners to hundreds of people in different locales. Additionally, pegged to be five days after Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday, a celebration of charitable giving.
Food: Different kinds of food are traditionally served at Thanksgiving meals.
- Turkey, usually roasted and stuffed is the featured item on this feast
- Mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, various fall vegetables, squash, and pumpkin pie are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner.
- Green bean casserole remains a favorite.
- Americans eat more food on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year.
Thanksgiving was founded as a religious observance for all the members of the community to give thanks to God for a common purpose.
Historic reasons for community thanksgivings are:
- 1541 thanksgiving mass after the expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado safely crossing the high plains of Texas and finding game
- 1777 thanksgiving after the victory in the Revolutionary War Battle of Saratoga.
- 1789 National Thanksgiving Proclamation, President Washington gave many noble reasons for a national Thanksgiving, including “for the civil and religious liberty”, for “useful knowledge”, and for God’s “kind care” and “His Providence”.
The tradition of giving thanks to God is continued today in many forms, most notably the attendance of religious services, as well as the saying of a mealtime prayer before Thanksgiving dinner. Many houses of worship offer worship services and events on Thanksgiving themes the weekend before, the day of, or the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Families to begin the Thanksgiving dinner by saying grace (a prayer before or after a meal).
The custom is portrayed in the photograph “Family Holding Hands and Praying Before a Thanksgiving Meal”. Before praying, it is a common practice at the dining table for “each person [to] tell one specific reason they’re thankful to God that year.” While grace is said, many families hold hands until the prayer concludes, often indicated with an “Amen”. Traditionally, grace was led by the hostess or host, though in later times it is usual for others to contribute.
Joy Fisher, a Baptist Christian writer, states that “this holiday takes on a spiritual emphasis and includes recognition of the source of the blessings they enjoy year round — a loving God.”
Hesham A. Hassaballa, an American Muslim scholar and physician, has written that Thanksgiving “is wholly consistent with Islamic principles” and that “few things are more Islamic than thanking God for His blessings”. Similarly many Indian Americans also celebrate the holiday by “giving thanks to Almighty”.
Parades are held annually every Thanksgiving Day across US. The parade features parade floats with specific themes, scenes from Broadway plays, large balloons of cartoon characters, TV personalities, and high school marching bands.
- The parade includes large balloons, marching bands, and various celebrity guests
- Most of these parades are televised on a local station, and some have small, usually regional, syndication networks; most also carry the parades via Internet television on the TV stations’ websites.
What is entertainment without sports!, American football is an important part of many Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States, a tradition that dates to the earliest era of the sport in the late 19th century. Professional football games are often held on Thanksgiving Day; until recently, these were the only games played during the week apart from Sunday or Monday night. The National Football League has played games on Thanksgiving every year since its creation.
For many college football teams, the regular season ends on Thanksgiving weekend.
Other sports include basketball, marathons, Golf, Auto racing, Skins game, ice hockey, Hockey, Turkey Trot, road running
Television & Radio
Special television and radio programs transmitted on or around Thanksgiving.
Vacation and travel
On Thanksgiving Day, families and friends usually gather for a large meal or dinner. Consequently, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Thanksgiving is a four-day or five-day weekend vacation for schools and colleges. Most business and government workers are given Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays. Thanksgiving Eve, the night before Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars and clubs, as many college students and others return to their hometowns to reunite with friends and family.
Days after Thanksgiving
The day after Thanksgiving is a day off for some companies and most schools, particularly those that remain open on Columbus Day. It is known as Black Friday because it is a popular shopping day. The day after Thanksgiving is also Native American Heritage Day, a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is sometimes called Small Business Saturday, a movement promoting shopping at smaller local establishments. The Monday after Thanksgiving is sometimes called Cyber Monday, as a result of heavy online shopping when people return to their workplaces (which, in the past, typically offered far better internet connectivity). The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is sometimes called Giving Tuesday, to encourage charitable giving.