Thanksgiving Day in the United States
Traditionally, Thanksgiving Day is an annual secular one-day holiday observed in Canada and the United States to celebrate being thankful. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November and in Canada, same is observed on the second Monday of October.
As per a popular belief, way back in nineteenth century, the first American Thanksgiving feast took place, but on an unremembered date, sometime in the autumn of 1621 at the present-day Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts by separatists from the Church of England. They celebrated a three-day harvest feast with the native Wampanoag people, without whom they would not have survived the winter of 1620.
Thanksgiving is customarily celebrated with an enormous meal collectively among the friends and family. The meal is made pleasurable by contributions in form of delicious meals and decorative delicacies from all those invited. In both the countries, the Thanksgiving Day is a noteworthy family get together and it is a common sight seeing people traveling long distances to be with respective families and relatives to celebrate the day. It is often a four-day weekend in the United States, where Americans enjoy the necessary Thursday and Friday off.
At the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day or Macy’s Day, as it is popularly known in New York City, a parade is held in the Midtown Manhattan. It features moving stands or floats with certain subject matters, life-size balloons of celebrities and cartoon characters, scenes from Broadway plays and marching bands from high schools. The float usually comes to an end with the Santa Clause float, which marks the commencement of Christmas season. The parade is also witnessed in cities like Plymouth, Houston, Philadelphia and Detroit.
As a popular trend, in certain parts of the United States, the name for Thanksgiving is often altered or abbreviated. These include:
- Turkey Day (after the traditional Thanksgiving dinner)
- T-Day (abbreviation of either Thanksgiving or Turkey )
- Macy’s Day (exclusive to New York City, a reference to the parade, as in Macy’s Day Parade instead of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade)
In Canada, the day is also referred to as Yanksgiving to distinguish it from the Canadian holiday (Yank being a nickname for a President of the US ).
Thanksgiving Day in Canada
In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October, to offer thanks for a successful harvest. The history backs up the credit for celebrating Thanksgiving Day in Canada to Martin Frobisher, an English explorer, trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. On failing to find his way, he established a settlement in Canada . In the year 1578 he held a formal ceremony, in the present Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for his survival.
Here it is a three-day weekend, with an exception at some places where it lasts for four days, Friday thru Monday. While the actual auspicious day is Monday, it often happens with Canadians having a meal with one faction of relatives on one day and another meal with another faction on another day. It is also a common culture for Canadian couples to go off on weekends to take pleasure in the fall leaves, or at the jungle hide-outs or indulge in outdoor pleasures like fishing and hunting.
Apart from those mentioned above, we also cover other areas like Arbor Day, Boss’s Day, National Teacher’s Day and Flag Day in Holidays category page.