ORIGIN OF THANKSGIVING
It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November every
year. There are two versions of the origins of this holiday.
One is thanks for the early settlers arriving in America safely.
On December the 4th, 1619, a group of English pioneers
arrived at a place called Berkeley Hundred, in Virginia. The
group made a promise that the day of their arrival should be
a "day of thanksgiving" to God. The second version is the
thanks given to Native Americans, who taught them how to
grow food and hunt, according nto this version, the feast
celebrated the good autumn harvest.
This video gives a brief explanation of the holiday and its
The History of Thanksgiving, a Timeline:
How Thanksgiving Works:
Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various
dates throughout history.
Thanksgiving was first celebrated on the same date by all
states in 1863 by a presidential proclamation of Abraham
Lincoln proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in
November in an attempt to foster a sense of American unity
between the Northern and Southern states.
Today, families celebrate Thanksgiving by eating turkey,
stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, yams, corn, cranberry
sauce, and pumpkin pie. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
and an NFL football game are special Thanksgiving Day
juice that drips from cooking meat, or a sauce made by thickening
and seasoning this juice
a territory governed by a distant country, often settled by citizens of
feeling or showing appreciation for kindnesses or benefits; thankful
another name for the sweat potato
a person who settles in a previously uninhabited or new area;
the time when ripened crops are gathered or the gathering of the
the name given by the pilgrims to the indigenous people of North
a Thanksgiving symbol which represents a good harvest
a person who takes an unusually long trip for a religious purpose
a small red edible berry that grows in Noth America
an acknowledgment of gratitude for a benefit received
any sumptuous and elaborate meal, usually for many people;
a large bird that is native to America and is usually eaten on
TRADITIONS - FOOD
On a broad level, Thanksgiving foods celebrate traditional
agriculture life (don't forget Thanksgiving is a Harvest
celebration). Most of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes are
fairly simple foods that are native to North America..
Turkey: Most Americans associate Thanksgiving with turkey.
This connection goes back to the prevalence of wild turkey in
the New World. At the time of the first Thanksgiving,
Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford commented on
"the great store of wild turkeys" -- even though it's thought
that venison and fish were the center of the celebration.
After turkey, the most significant dish on the table is corn.
Cranberries were probably on the first Thanksgiving table.
The American Indians taught the Pilgrims to make a
cranberry sauce called "ibimi”.
Yams / Sweet potato
PARADES: The most famous one being Macy's Thanksgiving
SPORTS: The traditional Thanksgiving football game was
between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers, but
there are now more games.
FAMILY GATHERINGS: Roads and airports are very busy,
everyone gets together with their families.
BLACK FRIDAY: Friday following Thanksgiving, many major
retailers open very early and offer promotional sales to kick
off the holiday shopping season. Origins of the term:
-Philadelphia Police (traffic - negative)
-Stores (profits – positive)
Controversy over Black Friday:
CYBER MONDAY: The Monday after Black Friday, said to be
the busiest online shopping of the year (an attempt to dirve
people to shop online)
Since Harry Truman, every year, the President of the United
States will "pardon" a turkey, which spares the bird's life and
ensures that it will spend the duration of its life roaming
freely on farmland.
President Obama pardons Thanksgiving Turkey:
In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the
Thanksgiving celebrations. The average weight of a turkey
purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
Thanksgiving and TV / Movies
Some TV and movie Thanksgiving TV episodes / scenes:
Home for the holidays: The Turkey:
Funny People (2009):