Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

As I thank God for everything that he has graciously given me, my family, my students and my friends, I wish you and your family a very joyous and peaceful thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving day is celebrated in November every year and it is a national holiday in the USA and Canada. In the USA, it is celebrated on the 4 th Thursday of November every year. This year it will be celebrated on 26 th November, 2020.

Significance: To celebrate the blessings and harvest of the past year. Families and friends get together and share a family meal and thank God for everything they have. For many families it is a time for an annual reunion.

Food: Turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie etc.

Parades: Many cities hold large festivals or parades. Macy´s Thanksgiving Parade in New York is one of the largest parades. It started in 1924.

Belief: The Americans believe that their modern day Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast.

The first 1621 harvest feast: Thanksgiving celebrations took place in Plymouth in the year 1621. On this day, the English colonists of Plymouth and Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn harvest feast.

They had a three day feast to celebrate a good harvest. The modern Thanksgiving Day holiday: In 1863 President Lincoln became the first President to proclaim Thanksgiving Day.

History: Who were the colonists of Plymouth and how was the first Thanksgiving celebrated?
In 1620, a small ship called the ´Mayflower´ left Plymouth, England carrying 102 passengers who were religious separatists and were seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith. After sailing for 66 days, they reached the tip of Cape Cod far north of the intended destination at the mouth of Hudson river. They then crossed Massachusetts Bay and then established the village of Plymouth in December, 1620.

Their first winter was devastating and at the beginning of the following fall they had lost 46 of the original 102 pilgrims who sailed on ´Mayflower´. But the harvest in 1621 was plentiful and they celebrated this with the native Americans.

Other countries: Canada celebrates Thanksgiving in a similar way in October. It marks the successful harvest of French settlers in Canada.

Germany also celebrates Harvest Thanksgiving Festival generally in October which consists of feasting and religious traditions. It is called “Erntedankfest”.

Japan celebrates Labor Thanksgiving day in November which is related to harvest celebrations.

The Netherlands celebrates Thanksgiving day to honor the pilgrims who lived there before leaving for Plymouth. However, it is not celebrated in a big way like in America but there are services in some churches.

Wishing you joy and Peace. Have a wonderful season of festivities!

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