Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States that precedes Black Friday. People rejoice this day as an opportunity to thank God for what they have. Traditionally, this is a day to join your family and pals for a special dinner. The feast includes turkey, potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, etc.
On this day, parades and festivities are held across the towns and cities to mark the beginning of Christmas shopping season. A majority of offices, government institutions, and schools are closed on this day. Many offices allow staff to enjoy an extended four day weekend break (beginning with the Thursday) so they can go on trips and visit family or friends. This is one of the eventful periods in the USA when travellers, parades and football games can disrupt local traffic.
Since 1863, Thanksgiving Day represents a day of celebration in the lives of Americans but not everyone considers it as a reason to party. Every year, since 1970, a faction of American residents and their followers stage a protest at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts for the Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving day. This day is also observed as American Indian Heritage Day.
There first Thanksgiving Day celebration dates back to 1598 when it was held in El Paso, Texas. People trace the origin of this day to the harvest festivity held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 but truly their first Thanksgiving was in 1623, when they thanked rain that put an end to a drought. Initially, the day was celebrated in the form of a church service but towards the latter half of 1600s, celebrations following the harvest became common and turned into annual events.
Different communities celebrate this day on different days and in some regions multiple thanksgivings were held every year. However, the foremost president of the United States, George Washington declared the first federal Thanksgiving Day in 1789.
Americans consider this day as a great occasion to have fun, get away from offices and schools, and eat a sumptuous dinner with friends and relatives. The day also marks the onset of Christmas hustle that fills hearts with happiness for the upcoming holiday season. Originating as a day to express gratitude for a good harvest, today This day is celebrated all over the world with utmost pleasure and gratefulness.
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