Thanksgiving is the 2nd most popular American holiday after Christmas and is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. It’s all about old family traditions and the obligatory Thanksgiving dinner, but there are some more things you need to know.
There are three different tales competing for the title "The true origin of Thanksgiving," so the birth of this federal holiday in the USA is not entirely cleared up:
About 300 years before the US citizens started to feed themselves into a "food coma" at the end of November, Thanksgiving was celebrated without any rules. It was not until 1941 that the celebration of Thanksgiving was declared an official national holiday - by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Since then, every year before the holidays, millions of Americans "pilgrim" to their homes to visit their families, thus effectively paralyzing the entire US infrastructure.
Thanksgiving is celebrated in the USA regardless of religion or ethnicity. Other countries such as Germany, Canada, and England also celebrate the festival, but the Americans are, without a doubt, the undisputed Thanksgiving world champions.
Thanksgiving is an expression of gratitude, and every US citizen knows that.
The American harvest festival is the day of warmth, family, and friendship. People come together and reflect on how well off they are and to whom they owe it.
On Thanksgiving, you should thank everyone that comes to mind: your parents, your teachers, your children, your pets... maybe even the guy who stole your parking space yesterday.
Gratefulness is healthy, and Americans know that. Once you sit down, you will find many reasons to thank people, animals, or nature.
Unlike the over-commercialized holidays of Christmas and Halloween, Thanksgiving has not changed too much in most Americans' minds.
The few innovations in the "pop culture" of the festival were mainly caused by the food industry or Americans' changing family structures. A few exciting changes in the history of Thanksgiving are:
Traditionally, on Thanksgiving, the whole family comes over for a big feast, where the focus is not on food but on being together. The ancient customs are repeated year after year.
Among the essential elements of the Thanksgiving dinner are:
Hint: There is also a canned version of the pumpkin puree available. However, we would advise against its use as long as you still have your sense of taste.
Even beyond the Thanksgiving feast, there are a few things that most Americans like to do on that day. We will sketch a typical Thanksgiving Day:
Since Thanksgiving traditionally falls on a Thursday, most Americans take the Friday off to enjoy a 4-day vacation. With travel times of several days in some cases, the individual holiday for Thanksgiving is naturally prolonged accordingly.
Most likely, the first English settlers were responsible for the annual big turkey dinner. They are said to have chosen the turkey as a feast because of the bird's "practical size." However, just as with the origin of Thanksgiving, there are different tales being told.
In stories about the origin of Thanksgiving in the USA, however, the turkey played a minor role. Instead, mainly game meat that was eaten. The Thanksgiving turkey did not appear so prominently on the dinner table of American households until the mid-19th century.
The day after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday" and is all about bargain hunting throughout America. Invented by US retailers, the shopping day is known for mega discounts of the kind you really only get once a year. Since the Internet trade has become popular, Black Friday is followed by "Cyber Monday."
So if you've been wondering how to get rid of those 4,500 calories, pay a visit to the retailers in your area on Black Friday and get fit again.