History of Thanksgiving In the early 1600s, a group known as the Separatists lived in England. They were not allowed to practice their religion, so they hired the Mayflower to carry them to a new land: America. On November 11, 1620 the Mayflower landed in modern-day Province Town, Massachusetts. They built a colony and named the place Plymouth.
Pilgrims and the Mayflower
History Continued The pilgrims needed help learning about the land and animals. The Wampanoag tribe taught the pilgrims where fish swam, how to hunt deer, as well as how to plant corn. With the help of the Native Americans, there was plenty of food for everyone. The Pilgrims had so much to be thankful for. They gave thanks for good friends, new homes, freedom of religion, and plenty of food in an autumn harvest festival with their Native American friends.
The First Thanksgiving
Modern Day Thanksgiving Today, we continue the celebration of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, and call it Thanksgiving. A typical Thanksgiving consists of family and friends gathering together for dinner. Turkey is the main dish, and the holiday is sometimes called "Turkey Day" as a result. Other food at the table includes: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, casseroles, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.
Modern Day Thanksgiving Continued The day before Thanksgiving, the best turkey in the U.S. is pardoned by the President. On Thanksgiving morning, most Americans watch the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. After dinner, families enjoy the various football games. The Friday after Thanksgiving is the official beginning of the Christmas season. Many people go shopping on this day because items are on-sale.
Turkey Pardon The turkey is best known for being the main dish in any traditional Thanksgiving dinner. While an estimated 46 million turkeys will be served in the U.S. this year, two have been chosen as the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate. They will be spared by the president himself at the White House.
This year’s lucky birds won a turkey beauty pageant. Out of 20,000 birds, 25 were selected for the presidential flock. From these 25, the two that behaved the best on a table were selected to be the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate. After the pardoning, the turkeys go to California to be a part of Disneyland’s Thanksgiving parade.
Macy’s Day Parade The Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year. The parade, as always, will feature 44 balloons, 27 floats, 800 volunteer clowns, 1,600 cheerleaders and 11 of the countrys most talented marching bands.
This year’s new characters include Paul Franks monkey "Julius" and "Sonic the Hedgehog.” Some classic characters like Kermit the Frog and Buzz Lightyear will be in the parade again. Santa Claus will finish up the parade, indicating the start of the Christmas season.
Black Friday Beginning around midnight on Thursday, Americans will start queuing up outside various retail stores, waiting for the stores to open and the shopping to begin. Most people shop on this day because many items are discounted or on-sale. However, once the item runs out, so does the discount! You must hurry! In 2010, the average American spent about $365, and an estimated 212 million people shopped.
The streets and sidewalks are always crowded on Black Friday because so many people go shopping. The police dislike all the traffic and arguments that result because of the crowds, so they nicknamed the day “Black Friday.”