Monday, 4 November 2013

Travelling into foreign cultures - Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day in the United States is an annual festival in which people thank the Lord for the blessings of the past year. It is observed every fourth Thursday in November

It is a historical, national, and religious holiday that began with the Pilgrims Fathers. They were a group of English Protestants who wanted to break away from the Church of England. These ‘separatists’ initially moved to Holland and after 12 years of financial problems, they received funding from English merchants to sail across the Atlantic. 
A ship called “The Mayflower” carrying 101 men, women, and children spent 66 days travelling through the ocean and finally settled at Plymouth, that is now called Cape Cod. There the Pilgrims founded a colony. 

Long before settlers came to the East Coast of the United States, the area was inhabited by many Native American tribes.
After founding  the Plymouth Colony, the Puritans were preparing for their first winter. The leader of a Native American tribe, Squanto, visited the colony.  Squanto was a Wampanoag who had experience with other settlers and knew English. He helped the settlers grow corn and use fish to fertilize their fields. After several meetings, a formal agreement was made between the settlers and the native people and they joined together to protect each other from other tribes.

After the survival of their first colony through the bitter winter, and the gathering of the harvest, Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony issued a thanksgiving proclamation in the autumn of 1621. This first thanksgiving lasted three days, during which the Pilgrims feasted with wild turkey with their Indian guests. Some Natives brought deer for the feast and the English and Natives ate together. The meal consisted of deer, corn, shellfish, and roasted meat. Moreover, they played ball games, sang, and danced. 

Prayers and thanks were offered at the 1621 harvest celebration, but the first recorded religious Thanksgiving Day in Plymouth happened two years later in 1623. On this occasion, the colonists gave thanks to God for rain after a two-month drought.

Some curiosities about

Although, Thanksgiving is widely considered an American holiday, it is also celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October .

Friday after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday because retailers hope that with plenty of sales, their sales numbers will no longer be in the red, but in the black. In fact, Black Friday is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season.

Originally known as Macy's Christmas Parade, to celebrate the launch of the Christmas shopping season, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy's employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, about 3 million people attend the annual parade and another 44 million watch it on television.
For more information about the 2013 parade click here: 

For many U.S. citizens, there is no Thanksgiving without football. NBC Radio broadcast the first national Thanksgiving Day game in 1934, when the Detroit Lions hosted the Chicago Bears. Except for a respite during World War II, the Lions have played every Thanksgiving Day since.  For more information about Thaknsgiving football games:  In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations.   Since 1947, The National Turkey Federation has presented the President of the United States with a live turkey. The live turkey is pardoned by the president and sent to Disneyland to live happily ever after. 
 November 21, 2012
And you? What would you give thanks for?


  1. I want to say thank you for my family and my friends. I know I am very lucky because I have a beautiful family. A lot of people have a lot of problems with their families.
    My friends are very nice, we never quarrel and we have a great time together!
    So..thank you!

  2. Yes, you're lucky. And you're wise, as well because you can see and appreciate all the good things you have!

  3. i want to say thanks you for my family and friends.

  4. Yes, Sara, you're right. Do you really say "thank you" to them sometimes? You should... Try, they would be very happy!

  5. I want to say thanks to all the people that I knew in my life, because i know that i am so lucky, and i always knew that my family is a perfect family, but sometime me amd my sister don't trust our parents, and that's a problem.... but i like my family, (really a big family!), and i tink that is the most beautifoul thing that i always had.

  6. There are things I can not understand but I will learn it. I think nothing is too late. Then I realized that I had improved a lot.