Thanksgiving Facts

Thanksgiving Facts
Thanksgiving Day is celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. It's a day to give thanks for the blessings of the previous year as well as the harvest. Thanksgiving was traditionally a religious and cultural celebration, but today is celebrated by many people in Canada and the U.S. regardless of their beliefs or culture. In Canada, Thanksgiving is held on the second Monday in October while in the U.S. it is held on the fourth Thursday in November. Similar holidays exist around the world in other countries and cultures, but have different names and are held on different days. The only ones likely to not enjoy a Thanksgiving feast today would be the turkeys. Ceremonies to give thanks are common in almost all religions, especially after harvests.
Interesting Thanksgiving Facts:
The first Canadian Thanksgiving is thought to have occurred in 1578, when an explorer Martin Frobisher held a Thanksgiving celebration for surviving his journey from England.
Some believe that the first Thanksgiving celebrations in Canada can be traced to French settlers. These settlers who came to New France in the 1600s with explorer Samuel de Champlain, celebrated successful harvests with large feasts of thanks. They also shared their food with the native people.
Most of Canada considers Thanksgiving a statutory holiday.
The first Thanksgiving in the United States was held at Plymouth in 1621. This feast was prompted by a good harvest and celebrated by pilgrims and puritans.
It wasn't until the 1660s that the harvest feast became an annual affair.
Each year the President of the United States pardons a turkey. This lucky turkey is guaranteed to spend the rest of its life living freely and not ending up on a turkey platter.
When the pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower, the Wampanoag Indians taught them how to cultivate the land. These Indians were invited to the first Thanksgiving in 1621.
The first Thanksgiving in 1621 was celebrated for three days.
The first Thanksgiving feast was made up of lobster, chestnuts, onions, leeks, dried fruit, cabbage, carrots, chicken, rabbit, honey and maple syrup and other items.
There were no mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, or even corn on the cob at the first Thanksgiving feast.
The writer of Mary Had a Little Lamb, Sarah Josepha Hale, is thought to be the person who persuaded Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be the national day for Thanksgiving.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade began in the 1920s and is still held today.
Approximately 280 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving in the United States.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday in the United States and is the first official shopping day for Christmas.
Even if turkeys wanted to escape before Thanksgiving they couldn't fly. Commercially raised turkeys are not able to fly.
Other countries that celebrate Thanksgiving include: Germany - they celebrate the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival in early October; Grenada - they celebrate Thanksgiving Day on October 25th; Korea - they celebrate Korean Thanksgiving Day in late September or early October; Japan - they celebrate Labor Thanksgiving on November 23rd; Liberia - they celebrate Thanksgiving on the first Thursday of November; and Norfolk Island celebrates Thanksgiving on the last Wednesday of November.

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