Thanksgiving is a national holiday in America, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Many businesses close on the Thanksgiving holiday and the day after so that workers have a long, four-day weekend. The day after Thanksgiving is often called Black Friday as many people head out to start their Christmas shopping on this day, and stores are often crowded with customers. There are big sales and discounts on that day only.
The history of Thanksgiving goes all the way back to when the first foreigners came to America hundreds of years ago. They were called pilgrims and most came from the area of Great Britain. The winters were very hard for them and they needed help from the native people who were already in America to survive. To celebrate and make friends, they had a large feast. This developed into the Thanksgiving holiday we know today.
Food and Family
Thanksgiving dinner will probably be one of the biggest meals a family will enjoy throughout the year. It traditionally includes turkey as the main course, although ham, chicken, or duck might also be served. Along with turkey there usually are mashed potatoes and candied yams, along with stuffing which is made from breadcrumbs and which cooks inside the turkey. Many diners are especially fond of the cranberry sauce which is served in a type of sweet jelly. These come along with biscuits or rolls and gravy. For dessert, pecan pie and pumpkin pie are two favorites, although a family might enjoy many other dishes that they choose.
Because the holiday often means a long weekend for workers, it’s not unusual for families to gather together in big groups for this day. College students will head home and grandparents may host as many siblings and cousins as they can fit into their house. There will be lots of traffic jams!
Decorations and Football
Decorating for the holiday is usually a tradition for many families and especially for the children. They may draw turkeys with crayons or tape cardboard pumpkins and pilgrims to the windows of the home, just for fun. The decorations may not be as extensive as you see for Christmas but the crafts activities makes the holiday more festive for everyone.
Special football games are also aired on Thanksgiving day and many families will have a tradition of having an early dinner so everyone can sit and watch the games. They can also play a ballgame outside themselves as it’s usually the last holiday before the cold weather of winter sets in.