Thanksgiving in a nutshell November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving is a national holiday. It is celebrated mostly in the United States and Canada. It is the day that we give thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, to commemorate the  harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony after a harsh winter. It lasted for three days. The colonists celebrated it as a traditional English harvest feast, to which  they invited the local Wampanoag Indians, as a way of thanking them for teaching the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land as well as survival skills.

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln began looking for ways to unite the nation. After a discussion with poet and editor Sarah J. Hale, who long had already been lobbying for a National Thanksgiving holiday, gave his Thanksgiving Proclamation, declaring  the last Thursday in November a day of thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated with lots of joy and enthusiasm; not only in the United States, but other countries as well. It symbolizes the feeling of gratitude. Friday, right after Thanksgiving is popularly known as ‘Black Friday’. Considered as the official beginning of the Christmas season, and is marked with the highest retail volume sales in United States.  Most government offices, businesses, schools and other organizations are closed on Thanksgiving Day. And many allow staff to have a four-day weekend so these offices and businesses are also closed on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Public transit systems do not usually operate on their regular timetables.

The Thanksgiving meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables. Thanksgiving Day is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have. An interesting fact is there were no milk, cheese, bread, butter or pumpkin pie at the original Thanksgiving Day feast. It is estimated 535 million pounds of turkey are consumed by Americans on Thanksgiving. Whatever it is you’re doing, or eating on Thanksgiving…Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, and practicing gratitude.

May we practice it everyday.

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City



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