Every year Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It is a time when all family members gather together, have a great supper and time to think, to speak to each other and to thank Jesus for everything we have. This holiday has a long history and traditions and not everybody from modern people know how it all began.
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So, let us start this essay and at first we are going to talk about the history of Thanksgiving Day. In the second part of the essay we will discuss the traditions and how modern Americans are following them.
The History Of The Holiday
Nowadays Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving Day at the fourth Thursday of November. The main idea of the holiday is an expression of gratitude to God for His protection.
Many years ago a group of pilgrims from England arrived on American territory. It was cold November. The group consisted of 41 men, 19 women and about 40 children. They came to Massachusetts to start a new life in new lands. But American climate was unmercifully for them at that time. A great part of the group died, because of cold, different diseases and lack of food. But those, who was still alive was saved thanks to Indian people. Indians was friendly for poor pilgrims and they shared some important secrets of how to prepare food for the winter. You can read a lot of essays on agriculture which can help you to understand the climate. And then, the grateful British people decided to arrange a small celebration in honor of a good harvest and in honor of the fact that they were able to survive. Of course, it was not an official holiday, no, it was just their wish to say thank you for god and Indians for their help. It was 1620 year.
In the 18th century the United States became an independent country and the first president George Washington offered to celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the 26 of November. Americans always were a nation of Christians, so they were happy to support this idea.
In the 20th century Roosevelt decided to change the date of celebrating. It was the penultimate Thursday of November. But this changing was not a compulsory, that’s why there was a split between the states: 23 states celebrate the holiday in the penultimate Thursday, 22 states – in the last Thursday and Texas considered the both days to be a holiday. In 1941 US Congress passed a bill to celebrate the Thanksgiving only in the fourth Thursday of November.
On this day Americans cook the special dishes, such as sweet potatoes yams, pumpkin pie and of course, stuffed turkey with cranberry sauce.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the family circle, whose members gather at the house of a senior representative (usually the grandparents), thanks, and then eat on a large pumpkin pie and stuffed turkey in cranberry sauce. But nowadays there are some local carnivals, and the most popular of them - New York hits Macy's (the largest hypermarket). The idea of the parade is that huge colorful toys with faces from cartoons (which, in general, not necessarily) heroes are inflated by Macy's directors money, and the long string passed with all the trappings from Central Park to the entrance to the store. The parade was organized since 1927 - the founders have not missed a year.
On the eve of Thanksgiving Day are numerous charity events. At this time, the Americans are trying to be compassionate to those who less fortunate in life. Even special tables are installed in subway stations. For them, all who wish put their donations, including food. There are a lot of advertisements about charity in newspapers.
On the eve of Thanksgiving Day in the United States charities give the collected gifts to the poor people, and for the homeless people and also arrange dinners. Every year a growing number of employees who refuse from corporate events in the USA decided to send the money for purchasing food for the poor citizens.
Thanksgiving is special for America because it opens the holiday season – the following day will start another show called Black Friday. This is a great day, the sales with huge discounts and, as a consequence, huge crowds every year is gaining more and more popularity. It all starts with running around the supermarket and ends with a big fight and broken noses.
The Turkey Pardoning Ceremony
Traditionally at least one turkey is to avoid the fate to be cooked for the holiday table. On the eve of the holiday the US president announces clemency of turkey on the White House lawn. All the ceremony is translated on TV channels. The turkeys are always taken from the National Federation of turkey producers. For several months before the ceremony the 30 turkeys are chose and people begin to vote for one of them on the website of the White House. These turkeys are prepeared specially for the honorable mission – they are fed from hands and taught not to be afraid of strangers. After the ceremony the turkey is sent to the zoo, where it lives to an old age.
Some Interesting Facts About The Holiday
1) According to the Ministry of Agriculture in the United States in Thanksgiving Americans cook and eat more than 45 million turkeys.
2) There are 12 localities in the USA, which were named after turkey. The biggest one is Turkey City (Texas).
3) In 2007 the New York Times published an interesting information that almost all turkeys, which Americans cook for this holiday are from rocks, derived in California in 1950s be fancier Georges Nicolas.
As you can see, Thanksgiving Day I very old and important holiday. It is time to keep calm, sit and think that we have so many things, which we did not notice or appreciate. And it is time to stop and to thank Jesus for everything He gave to us. So, try not to forget the real reasons of this holiday.