Thanksgiving Day (Thanksgiving) is an important public holiday, celebrated by Americans on the fourth Thursday in November. One of the four most celebrated federal holidays in USA. (Other three are Christmas, New Year’s Day and Independence Day.) It celebrates giving thanks to God for the autumn harvest and for all His blessings to the country. Holiday reflects a great period of American history, period of Americans becoming a nation. The first national Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by the first president of the United States, George Washington, in 1789.
On October 3, 1789, Washington made the following National Thanksgiving Proclamation: ” Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.”
Thanksgiving is a time for many people to give personal thanks for what they have. Many families have a holiday tradition to begin the Thanksgiving dinner by saying grace (a prayer before or after a meal). Before praying, it is a common practice at the dining table for "each person to tell one specific reason they are thankful to God that year. While grace is said, many families hold hands until the prayer concludes, often indicated with an "Amen". Traditionally, grace was led by the hostess or host, though in later times it is usual for others to contribute.
Most foods served at Thanksgiving meals in the United State are native to Americans. Thanksgiving dinner almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: baked or roasted turkey, potatoes, sweet corn, fish, cranberry sauce, different fall vegetables. Usually Americans eat more food on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year. But at the time they do not forget about poor people, who are always provided with food at Thanksgiving time. Many communities annually have food drives that collect non-perishable packaged and canned foods. Corporations sponsor charitable distributions of staple foods and Thanksgiving dinners. The Salvation Army enlists volunteers to serve Thanksgiving dinners to hundreds of people in different locales. Additionally, pegged to be five days after Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday, a celebration of charitable giving.
In most cities and towns festive parades are held, traditionally football, ice hockey and basketball games are played by professional and college teams. And of course the world championship pumpkin chunking contest, held in Delaware, should be mentioned. Many events are televised on national and local channels. Many special Thanksgiving television shows and radio programs are transmitted those days.
The celebrations are really massive throughout the country. But first of all Thanksgiving is a family holiday. We wish you a great time with your relatives and friends! Happy Thanksgiving Day ! And, of course, many blessings!
In 2016 Thanksgiving Day in USA falls on November 24.