Thanksgiving is the popular harvest festival of United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year. Though, historically, it has been celebrated as a religious festival, today, it has gained the secular dimension too. Thanksgiving is celebrated not only in United States, but in other countries of the world as well, though by different names and in different time of the year. The festival is an occasion to show one’s gratitude to God, for all His grace and mercy showered in the form of bountiful harvest. It is the celebration of the year-long hard work and toil. Generally, there is a four day weekend in the United States, during the festival.
The Friday which falls next to the Thanksgiving Day is popularly known as “Black Friday”. One can trace back the Thanksgiving Festival to the time of the celebration of Ancient Hebrews and Greeks. Ancient Hebrews used to hold a grand eight-day feast to celebrate their harvest season. People in ancient Greece had a similar festival, wherein they dedicated a nine-day harvest festival to Goddess Demeter, the Goddess of Agriculture. Almost the same way, pre-Christians also celebrated a harvest festival with a large feast, before the crops were gathered and stored for the winter season.
Thanksgiving marks the official beginning of Christmas season. The secular date coincides with the beginning of the four week Advent season before Christmas, in the Western Christian Church calendars. Thanksgiving is conducted at home as well as by several religious and spiritual organizations. Various organizations make arrangements for services and events on the theme of Thanksgiving for the people. They distribute Thanksgiving dinner among the needy people and thus, arrange for a grand festival for them too.
At home, relatives and friends congregate to spend some quality time with each other. Thanksgiving dinner is a special attraction of the festival, wherein they pray by holding hands together, before having their food. As per US tradition, the holiday is associated with the meal that was held in 1621, by the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The tradition is still followed with the Thanksgiving dinner, which has turkey as its main dish. Other traditional dishes which are served during the Thanksgiving dinner are stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, other fall vegetables, and pumpkin pie.
As stated above, Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of the month of November. In the following lines, we bring you the calendar that will help you in finding out the dates for Thanksgiving in the coming years.
Thanksgiving 2017 - Thursday Nov 23