Fourth Thursday in November
Each year, Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday on the fourth Thursday of November.
One of the best things about Thanksgiving is spending time with family.
Many people live far from family members, that’s why many Americans also take a day
of vacation on the following Friday after the Thanksgiving to make a four-day weekend,
during which they may travel long distances to visit family and friends. Thanksgiving is
the busiest travel day of the year!
The holiday dates back to 1621, the year after the Pilgrims arrived in the New World
aboard the Mayflower to escape religious persecution. The Pilgrims arrived in the
New World during the winter, makingit very difficult for them to find food and build
shelter. Already weakened by their two-month voyage, 46 out of the original 102
It is believed that the Indians helped the Pilgrims through
that difficult period and without them the Pilgrims would not have survived. The Indians taught the survivors how to plant corn or maiz, pumpkins, beans, peas
and other crops. They also taught the Pilgrims the art of hunting and angling.
Things got better in 1621 when the corn and pumpkin harvest was bountiful. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate the colony's first successful
harvest with a feast, including 91 Indians who had helped the
Pilgrims survive their first year. The feast lasted three days. The Thanksgiving feast became a national tradition — not only because so many other Americans have found prosperity but also because the Pilgrims' sacrifices for their freedom still captivate the imagination.
To this day, Thanksgiving dinner almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Before the meal begins, families or friends usually pause to give thanks for their blessings, including the joy of being united for the occasion.