Thanksgiving

DATE

Annually on the fourth Thursday of November

HOLIDAY TYPE

National and secular holiday with historical roots in cultural and religious traditions

 

OBSERVED BY

Celebrated in the United States and on various dates in other countries (Canada, Grenada, Liberia, and Saint Lucia)

 

CUSTOMS & TRADITIONS

Families and friends gather together to enjoy a delicious feast and to give thanks for their blessings.

TRADITIONAL FOOD & DRINKS

Food:  Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, yams, squash, corn, green beans and cranberry sauce.  Desserts typically include pumpkin, pecan, apple, and sweet potato pie.

HOLIDAY HISTORY

The first Thanksgiving was a three day feast in Plymouth, MA. In the fall of 1621, Pilgrims, Puritans and Wampanoag Native Americans joined together to celebrate the first harvest in the New World and to give thanks for the bountiful harvest. In 1777, the first national Thanksgiving was proclaimed by the Continental Congress. It wasn’t until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation making Thanksgiving a national holiday that it became an annual celebration on the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving became a paid federal holiday in1870 when President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Holiday Act into law.