What Is Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day, annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. The American holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism, and the traditional fare of the Thanksgiving meal typically includes turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. With respect to vehicular travel, the holiday is often the busiest of the year, as family members gather with one another.
Plymouth’s Thanksgiving began with a few colonists going out “fowling,” possibly for turkeys but more probably for the easier prey of geese and ducks, since they “in one day killed as much as…served the company almost a week.” Next, 90 or so Wampanoag made a surprise appearance at the settlement’s gate, doubtlessly unnerving the 50 or so colonists. Nevertheless, over the next few days the two groups socialized without incident
How Did Thanksgiving Start
Colonists in New England and Canada regularly observed “thanksgivings,” days of prayer for such blessings as safe journeys, military victories, or abundant harvests. Americans model their holiday on a 1621 harvest feast shared between the Wampanoag people and the English colonists known as Pilgrims. Canadians trace their earliest thanksgiving celebration to 1578, when an expedition led by Martin Frobisher gave thanks for its safe passage.
How is Thanksgiving Celebrated
In both Canada and America, family and friends gather for a meal and other celebrations on Thanksgiving. Traditional fare in America often includes turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. Parades and football games also have long associations with Thanksgiving.