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Every year, the fourth Thursday of November is celebrated as the Thanksgiving Day and this year it falls on 28 November. The day is marked by a national holiday in the United States and is also celebrated in a few parts of India, especially in Goa. However, in Canada, the day is observed on the second Monday of October.
Thanksgiving day holds its significance in different countries. It was first designated by the first President of the US, George Washington on 26 November 1789. However, later Abraham Lincoln set the fourth Thursday of November as the National Thanksgiving Day.
History Of Thanksgiving Day
On September 1620, a ship named Mayflower left England with 102 religious people who were seeking a new home to practise their faith freely. After two months, the pilgrims reached Massachusetts. While some people lived in the ship, others began working towards establishing a village. However, during the first winter, they suffered from contagious disease and scurvy due to excessive low temperature and food deficiency. Later, in March, they all moved ashore (New England) to live and see the spring season.
Soon after, the pilgrims met a Native American named Squanto who taught the pilgrims how to cultivate corn, catch fish, extract maple from the trees and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped them to set friendship with the local tribe.
In November 1621, the first corn harvest by the pilgrims was successful which made William Bradford, the Governor during the time, to organize a feast celebration which lasted for three continuous days. Later, the thanksgiving celebration became common practice among the New England settlements.
In the year 1789, George Washinton proclaimed the first Thanksgiving Day on 26 November which was later shifted to every fourth Thursday of November by Abraham Lincoln who also declared the day as a National Holiday in 1863 on the continuous request of a prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale.
Tradition Of Thanksgiving Day
The modern tradition of Thanksgiving is mostly concentrated on cooking a bountiful meal and celebrating the day with family and friends. On this day, the people give thanks for the blessings of the good harvest in the particular year and also for the preceding year and eat roasted turkey in the meal. 90 per cent of Americans eat turkey as they believe that the bird is large enough to feed the whole family. However, other traditional foods are also included like snowflake potatoes, pumpkin pie, oyster stew, candies, grapes and others.