Simple Science

Why do Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving 2008Photo by due.chiacchiere

Every fourth Thursday in November, United States marks a major national holiday – Thanksgiving. Americans started doing that since the 17 century, with abundant feast and stuffed turkey in the center. But why Americans actually celebrate this day?

Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving! Why?

Thanksgiving is a family holiday that is celebrated in the United States, but also in neighboring Canada, and even in the Dutch city of Leiden, on the island of Granada and in the West African country of Liberia.

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of each November; Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving that traditionally falls on the second Monday in October. In addition to the films where the plot revolves around the large ( in the movies usually chaotic ) family gathering for a common meal and, of course, a great filled turkey ( turkey gravy ), how many people outside of the North American continent ( though the inhabitants thereof ) actually know the historical background of this holiday. Here are some interesting facts so you can be the smartest in the company … or perhaps most hated americanophile?

During the history, Thanksgiving was a day when you expressed gratitude to the God for a good harvest, while this holiday is today adjusted to the modern era, and it expresses respect for God, family, friends, and thankfulness for all the material goods.

The first Thanksgiving day – the place to debate

Data about the first celebration of Thanksgiving are very unreliable. Some believe that it was in 1621. in the town of Plymouth ( Massachusetts State ), but there are even data which as a first Thanksgiving day consider 8th of September 1565. in St. Augustine, Florida.

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The rule that it is celebrated every fourth Thursday in November was made official in 1941. with the law signed by President Theodore Roosevelt.

It’s certain that this luxurious holiday when families, usually scattered in all parts of the United States, gather at the family home is in continuity celebrated since the 1789. on the recommendation of the President George Washington.

Who are the “pilgrims”?

You’ve surely countless times in movies seen shows that children in schools are preparing for this holiday recreating scenes of the meetings of the English settlers and the natives Indians. If you are wondering who they mean when they say “pilgrims”, I will explain..

One romantic, another bloody page of history

American Indians have proved to be a good hosts in the New World, but after that the visitors did not show too much appreciation … It is the history of the United States as you know it, and it’s not too much in the positive spirit of holiday as Thanksgiving, which celebrates community of different cultures.

Residents of the United States believe in a story that dates back to a distant, cold days of autumn of 1621. when just  46 of hundreds of English settlers survived their first winter in the New World. In these difficult moments members of American Indian tribe Wampanoag, Massachusetts hosted them for a dinner where they shared with them the fruits of their harvest. The turkey was supposedly on the menu also. These English settlers, in order to establish equality, called themselves “Pilgrims” would not survive if the Indians have not learned them the skills of surviving: from hunting and fishing to farming and gathering fruit.

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