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Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanksgiving and Its History

Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving is a holiday to express thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation to God, family and friends for which all have been blessed of material possessions and relationships. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. This holiday has since moved away from its religious roots.[1]
In the United States, Thanksgiving Day falls on the fourth Thursday of November. In Canada it is celebrated on the second Monday in October.
The precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed. Although Americans commonly believe that the first Thanksgiving happened in 1621, at Plymouth Plantation, in Massachusetts, there is strong evidence for earlier celebrations in Canada (1578) and by Spanish explorers in Florida (1565).
Thanksgiving Day is also celebrated in the Netherlands. A different holiday which uses the same name is celebrated at a similar time of year in the island of Grenada. --Source

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

Though the Thanksgiving Day is presently celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November. This date was set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941). Earlier it was the last Thursday in November as was designated by the former President Abraham Lincoln. But sometimes the last Thursday would turn out to be the fifth Thursday of the month. This falls too close to the Christmas, leaving the businesses even less than a month's time to cope up with the two big festivals. Hence the change.

And here's a funny and different version of the History of Thanksgiving:
http://www.thanksgivinghistory.net/

Happy Thanksgiving!

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