RESEARCHED BY DOROTHY HARRIS, VILLA DE MATEL LIBRARIAN
Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, as specified in a joint resolution passed by Congress in 1941. In the early days, typical Thanksgiving celebrations were marked by religious services to give thanks to God, or to celebrate a bountiful harvest.In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.
Today, Thanksgiving may be one of the biggest holidays of the year, but the traditional dinners today no longer resemble the first feast in 1621. A Thanksgiving meal today may be as diverse as the different cultures that one will find in the United States; however, the traditional Thanksgiving meal today may include a roast turkey, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving is a time when American families reunite to express gratitude, give thanks for the many blessings in their lives, and spend time with loved ones. Through the years and because the United States is the land of immigrants, people who originally came from other countries all over the world has adopted and adapted Thanksgiving as part of their life in their new homeland.
With the creation of events such as the Macy’s Day Parade in 1926 and the massive sales on Black Friday, over the years, Thanksgiving has become far more extravagant. With social media, international travel, and many foreign exchange students who get to experience the holidays in the United States while completing their studies, Thanksgiving has also become a more international celebration. Additionally, various countries worldwide celebrate Thanksgiving based on their traditions and culture. Canada, Liberia, Grenada, and the Australian territory of Norfolk Island are ones whose Thanksgiving holiday has a historical connection to the United States.