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What is Thanksgiving Day? The History of Thanksgiving

Every year people across the country gather with friends and loved ones to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. It is celebrated in many countries in their own way, and on their own dates, as a way of giving thanks for their family and friends, for the things they have in their lives, and for those who built the country they call home This happens during the harvest. And it represents being thankful for a fruitful harvest and in preparation for the coming winter. Like the history and original reason for the day, each country has its own perspective on how to celebrate.

The History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has a rich and full history, beginning with different events in each country, but all working toward the same end. A celebration with loved ones enjoying the best foods of the season. Regardless of the day it is held, the time that anyone eats, and all the other differences, they have changed from a day of thanksgiving that still represents thanksgiving today.

Each country that celebrates the day has its own original Thanksgiving Day and it has no shared history among them. In Canada, it returned in 1578 to meet a crew of explorers returning after they found the Northwest Passage. It also corresponds to harvest festivals in Europe and Britain, where festivals celebrate great harvests and the preparation of food storage for the winter. In the USA it began in 1621 when the first pilgrims shared a feast with the Wampanoags to celebrate the harvest.

Since most of Europe still celebrates the harvest, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, the holiday remains popular. Some of these cities have full-fledged celebrations with music, concerts, dancing, fireworks, decorated churches, and even parades. Certainly, they also focus on food, for a full celebration and interaction with the community.

The festivals in these countries became the basis for all other festivals dotted around the world. Each country has rooted Thanksgiving and developed it to suit their own preferences, and now celebrate it in new ways. There are many old Thanksgiving traditions. But there are also some newer festivals that have their own traditions and their own versions of the festivals in which they have their roots.

The True Story of Thanksgiving

American Thanksgiving has a big difference between the legends of the first Thanksgiving and how the tradition started, and how it actually happened and the basis for the traditions. While the approach often taken by schools and the story passed down through families is often that the American pilgrims were welcomed and shared a feast with the local tribe on Thanksgiving Day. It is said to be implied, or even stated, that they are happy to have the area colonized and share their space, or give their space, to the new arrivals.

While the Smithsonian and other groups seek to preserve the truth in the history they present, there is another story that is true in the records that can be found. There was an ongoing war between the two tribes that had been going on for several years. And the arrival of the Americans was not their first interaction with others, and there were already people living in the area who could speak English. The Europeans were already invading and running a slave trade in the area, bringing the Native Americans back with them.

In the true reception, there was an attempt to create a bond with the Wampanoag and the pilgrims, but it was expected that they would help to protect the tribe from others. There was chronic disease and they needed help for their reconstruction and to protect their families and their lands from other tribes.

Ancient Thanksgiving Celebrations

The English used to celebrate other Thanksgivings; however, these religious rituals are not about feasts, but rather involve fasting and prayer. To grow support for pilgrims and help set their own roots and traditions instead of repeating those rooted in the ocean. To grow faith and a sense of roots in the new lands they began to share the story of Thanksgiving dinner as a feast with the tribe to celebrate the harvest, rather than those rooted in Europe.

Which Countries Celebrate Thanksgiving

the history of gratitude

Countries across North America celebrate Thanksgiving every year. Often done in conjunction with football or other sporting events, friends and family gather for a big meal and an afternoon together. Both Canada and the USA celebrate in similar ways, but they do so on days more than a month apart. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland all celebrate harvest festivals, while a city in the Netherlands also observes the traditional US holiday. The United Kingdom also celebrates a harvest festival each year, and it regularly includes traditional gatherings for food and even churches join in the celebrations.

Grenada is one of the Caribbean countries that celebrates, although they have only done so since 1982. It is related to a day when they face changes in their government and forces arrive to help restore order in country. Their Thanksgiving celebration is based on the US Thanksgiving as a way to mark the time the USA helped them. Liberia also observes the American version of the day, as a former colony, and it became an official holiday in the late 1800s.

Japan has a rice harvest ceremony near the end of November to celebrate the labor that goes into harvesting. It has evolved over the years to become a celebration of general labor, and to appreciate the work that goes into both food sources and society as a whole.

Brazil joined late, and in the 1940s a traveling ambassador returned from the US and his love for Thanksgiving returned to Brazil with him. They also include churches and services are held, but the celebrations quickly shift to carnivals and festivities around the cities later in the day.

When Is Thanksgiving Celebrated?

Although the celebrations are not held at the same time in all countries, there is a common time of year that it occurs. Centered on harvesting and storing food for the winter, the months in which each of these festivals can be seen are October and November. Each area reaches the end of their harvest seasons at the time when the weather changes in their area, and this allows the dates to be adapted for each country and area where they are held.

How Do Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving in America has become slightly commercialized and lightened into the holiday season by Christmas shopping and sales. As it stretches back to Thanksgiving weeks, Black Friday and then Cyber ​​Monday will launch the shopping season.

Football is a big part of many families’ traditions, as they watch the Thanksgiving Day parade and then the game, or they choose one that fits the size and demographics of the family best. The meals are always large, with turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and many side dishes. It is certainly a feast to rival both Christmas and Easter, and while no longer rooted in a religious holiday it brings families and friends together.

What is the Thanksgiving Final Note?

Anyone is welcome to celebrate this time of harvest, prosperity, and hope. As the end of the year and the beginning of a new one approaches, it is often welcomed in the fall. Clothing items shift from sandals to boots, decorations shift from summer holidays to harvest themes, gourds and leaves, and color palettes shift to shades of brown and orange. Schools often have a Thanksgiving meal with their students, and schools with gardens will share the produce with students and staff throughout the school.

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About the Author

Photo by Author

Jane Sheriff is the founder, creative director, party planner and mother of three. She started Darling Celebrations in 2012 to share easy and beautiful ideas for celebrating life’s special events.

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