Thanksgiving Day is a day reserved to thank God, for the bountiful yield particularly when the harvest season terminates. It is celebrated in various ways at different times of the year in separate parts of the country. In United States, it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November with much zeal and enthusiasm. On the other hand, in Canada it is celebrated on the second Monday of October and is known as the Harvest festival. The celebration starts by getting together of near and dear ones to celebrate good luck together. This day officially marks the beginning of winter holiday season. It comes in between the Halloween and the Christmas. Thus, there is a long celebration waiting till Christmas.
Thanksgiving is indeed one of the oldest traditional festivals, celebrated throughout the world. It has been said that during ancient times, tribes used to make offerings and prepare feats to thank and appease the gods and goddesses of harvesting. It is believed that even Jews, the Romans and the Greeks celebrated similarly to gratify their gods and goddesses. In United States, it is believed that Thanksgiving was originally a harvest festival which was celebrated by the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony in 1621. Pilgrims celebrated a three-day feast to celebrate their magnanimous harvest in North America. This was how first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated.
George Washington had announced a National holiday on Thanksgiving Day in 1989. However, later Jefferson dismissed the idea of giving National Day on Thanksgiving. But again in1863, Linclon announced last Thursday of November as a National Day of Thanksgiving. And finally in 1941, Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed as the fourth day of November by a joint resolution of Congress.
Meal During Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving celebrations have seen a lot of changes since its first feast in 1621. During the first feast, it is believed that the meal constituted of wheat, corn, peas, barley, wild fowl (ducks, geese, swans or wild turkey), fish (bass and cod) and five deer. Even today, the tradition remains the same of serving turkey, mashed potatoes, corn and various vegetables sand side dishes in dinner feast. The dessert normally consists of pumpkin pie or pecan pie.
Thanksgiving is Celebrated Round the World
As the dates of celebration vary; the spirit remains the same throughout the world. In the United Kingdom, the day is celebrated as the harvest festival in late September or October. The day is marked by special services being organized at local churches to appease the god and goddesses of harvesting. The Jewish people, celebrates this festival for nine days to honor the festival. They call the festival as ‘Sukkot’. In China, the day is observed as the festival of autumn moon or Zhong Qui and is celebrated in the eight month of the Chinese calendar. In India, the harvest festival is celebrated as Onam in the state of Kerala. In Lithuania, the Thanksgiving tradition includes the creation of ‘boba’ meaning an old woman from the last sheaf of grain during harvest time. It is believed that keeping the ‘boba’ until spring keeps the crop healthy and alive until plantation of crop the next year.
Whatever the dates and reasons are for celebrating the ‘Thanksgiving Day’, it remains as a day for feasting and merry making with your family and friends. You could even take the opportunity of Thanksgiving Day and combine it with your Christmas vacations to gift your family a holiday of their dreams! Don’t worry of the air ticket prices; there are many sites which provide cheap air fares giving you a vacation without blowing off your budget.