Today is the day to learn about one of the most important American traditions: Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day. It’s considered a full-fledged family celebration, almost more than Christmas.
I’m sure you’ve seen it a lot in the cinema or on TV series, the classic picture of a family gathering around a table to eat turkey and lots of other delicious delicacies.
Thanksgiving is the day before Black Friday and the reason for this party is to give thanks to everything that you have received in the last year (love, work, health, children…). Generally, everything is good and people thank God, although in truth there are more and more people who aren’t religious celebrating this day.
If you have considered studying English in the United States, it is a tradition that you will come to know and enjoy first hand. Do you want to know more?
The origin of Thanksgiving Day
This date has been celebrated since 1941, the fourth Thursday of November, although previously it was celebrated on the last Thursday.
The person responsible for that change of day was Fred Lazarus Jr, who at that time was responsible for the Macy stores. He convinced President Roosevelt to move the celebration of Thanksgiving forward one week, an idea that undoubtedly drove consumption as there were more days to buy Christmas gifts.
The reality is that Thanksgiving is not a modern celebration, it’s known that it began to be commemorated in the first quarter of the seventeenth century.
Historians focus its origin in the year 1621 and it was the members of the Colony of Plymouth (today, part of the state of Massachusetts) who began this tradition.
Why did Thanksgiving Day start?
According to the chronicles of that time, a group of settlers (probably of Dutch origin or British Protestants expelled from England) arrived in that area during the winter of 1620.
They encountered many disasters as they were deprived of the most basic necessities, and in a short time, food became scarce. Consequently, many of the settlers fell ill and died.
When the spring of 1621 came, a community of native Indians approached them to help, being friendly and explaining how to till the fields and grow their own food.
They were taught to fish, hunt, everything so that the Colony would be autonomous and move on. In fact, after learning all this, the new residents obtained excellent results. To thank the natives for their support and help, they decided to organise a celebration in which they shared their food.
Thanksgiving: National Holiday.
From that moment on, this became a custom. The families of the colony met and gave thanks for everything achieved throughout the year. According to experts, this act is considered the origin of Thanksgiving.
This commemoration was spreading among other settlers, until it covered the entire American territory. It became such a culturally ingrained date that in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November to be an official holiday for the entire country, going on to be the quintessential family reunion.
So, are you ready for a delicious roasted turkey?