Thanksgiving Day

English Vocabulary

Thanksgiving Day - English Vocabulary and Traditions

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in United States and the second Monday of October in Canada.

This celebration is to give thanks for all the good things in life.

The first Thanksgiving Day

In 1620, 102 people sailed from England to North America on a small ship called the Mayflower.

These pilgrims, as they have come to be known, set up a colony at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The first winter for the newly-arrived families was very hard as it was difficult to find food and shelter from the cold. Only half of the pilgrims survived. However, when spring arrived, the settlers were taught by the local Wampanoag (Native American) tribe how to cultivate corn, catch fish in the rivers and which poisonous plants to avoid.

After their first corn harvest in 1621, the pilgrims invited their Native American friends to a celebratory banquet as a way of showing gratitude for their help. The festival lasted three days and is considered the first Thanksgiving celebration (though it wasn't called that at the time). This celebration then became an annual event after harvest and spread to other settlements in the area.

Thanksgiving Day in later years

In 1789, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation and called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the conclusion to the country's war of independence. In 1817, New York became the first state to officially adopt Thanksgiving as an annual holiday. In 1941 a bill was passed making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving Day Traditions

The following is a list of common Thanksgiving Day traditions in United States.

Family reunion
One of the most important traditions of Thanksgiving day is getting together with the family and having the Thanksgiving meal. More people travel for this day than any other day of the year.

Thanksgiving Meal
No Thanksgiving is complete without having turkey on the dinner table. This is accompanied by cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

There are parades held throughout the country though the most well-known one is the Macy's Parade in New York which lasts around three hours. At the end of the parada Santa Claus appears which announces the start of the Christmas period.

American Football
A popular tradition is to watch a game of NFL Football on TV.

Thanksgiving Day Vocabulary

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