Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

Thanksgiving Day
Our (Almost Traditional) Thanksgiving Dinner
A North American Thanksgiving dinner
Observed byCountries

Sub-national entities

TypeNational, cultural
Date2nd Monday in October (Canada)
1st Thursday in November (Liberia)
Last Wednesday in November (Norfolk Island)
4th Thursday in November (U.S.)
2019 dateOctober 14, 2019 (Canada);

November 7, 2019 (Liberia);
November 27, 2019 (Norfolk Island);

November 28, 2019 (U.S.)
2020 dateOctober 12, 2020 (Canada);

November 5, 2020 (Liberia);
November 25, 2020 (Norfolk Island);

November 26, 2020 (U.S.)

History

Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times.[1] The Thanksgiving holiday's history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.[1][2]

In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious services became important during the English Reformation in the reign of Henry VIII and in reaction to the large number of religious holidays on the Catholic calendar. Before 1536 there were 95 Church holidays, plus 52 Sundays, when people were required to attend church and forego work and sometimes pay for expensive celebrations. The 1536 reforms reduced the number of Church holidays to 27, but some Puritans wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays, including Christmas and Easter. The holidays were to be replaced by specially called Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving, in response to events that the Puritans viewed as acts of special providence. Unexpected disasters or threats of judgement from on high called for Days of Fasting. Special blessings, viewed as coming from God, called for Days of Thanksgiving. For example, Days of Fasting were called on account of drought in 1611, floods in 1613, and plagues in 1604 and 1622. Days of Thanksgiving were called following the victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588 and following the deliverance of Queen Anne in 1705.[3] An unusual annual Day of Thanksgiving began in 1606 following the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and developed into Guy Fawkes Day on November 5.[3]

In Canada

According to some historians, the first celebration of Thanksgiving in North America occurred during the 1578 voyage of Martin Frobisher from England in search of the Northwest Passage.[4] Other researchers, however, state that "there is no compelling narrative of the origins of the Canadian Thanksgiving day."[5]

The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are also sometimes traced to the French settlers who came to New France in the 17th century, who celebrated their successful harvests. The French settlers in the area typically had feasts at the end of the harvest season and continued throughout the winter season, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area.[6]

As settlers arrived in Nova Scotia from New England after 1700, late autumn Thanksgiving celebrations became commonplace. New immigrants into the country—such as the Irish, Scottish, and Germans—also added their own traditions to the harvest celebrations. Most of the US aspects of Thanksgiving (such as the turkey) were incorporated when United Empire Loyalists began to flee from the United States during the American Revolution and settled in Canada.[6]

In the United States

Thanksgiving-Brownscombe
Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1925, Brownscombe
Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1925, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Pilgrims and Puritans who emigrated from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. The modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a well-recorded 1619 event in Virginia and a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1619 arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia, concluded with a religious celebration as dictated by the group's charter from the London Company, which specifically required "that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned ... in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God." The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest, which the Pilgrims celebrated with native Americans, who helped them pass the last winter by giving them food in the time of scarcity.[7][8] [9]

Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the "First Thanksgiving", including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631.[10][11] According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden.[12] Now called Oktober Feest, Leiden's autumn thanksgiving celebration in 1617 was the occasion for sectarian disturbance that appears to have accelerated the pilgrims' plans to emigrate to America.[13] Later in Massachusetts, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford, who planned the colony's thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623.[14][15][16] The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.[17]

Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. During the revolutionary period, political influences affected the issuance of Thanksgiving proclamations. Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress,[18] each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes.[19] As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God".[20]

Debate about the nation's first celebrations

Berkeley Plantation, Shrine marking 1st Thanksgiving in America
Shrine of the first U.S. Thanksgiving in 1619 at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia

The question of where the first Thanksgiving was held in the United States has been a subject of debate, primarily between New England and Virginia, complicated by the concept of Thanksgiving as a holiday celebration versus a religious service. James Baker maintains, "The American holiday's true origin was the New England Calvinist Thanksgiving. Never coupled with a Sabbath meeting, the Puritan observances were special days set aside during the week for thanksgiving and praise in response to God's providence."[10] Baker calls the debate a "tempest in a beanpot" and "marvelous nonsense" based on regional claims.[10] However, the day for Thanksgiving services specifically codified in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred in 1619 was instrumental in President John F. Kennedy's attempt to strike a compromise between the regional claims, by issuing Proclamation 3560 on November 5, 1963, stating, "Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving. On the appointed day, they gave reverent thanks for their safety, for the health of their children, for the fertility of their fields, for the love which bound them together, and for the faith which united them with their God."[21]

Other claims include an earlier religious service by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario in 1598.[22] Robyn Gioia and Michael Gannon of the University of Florida argue that the earliest Thanksgiving service in what is now the United States was celebrated by the Spanish on September 8, 1565, in current Saint Augustine, Florida.[23][24]

Fixing date

Canada

The earlier Thanksgiving celebrations in Canada has been attributed to the earlier onset of winter in the North, thus ending the harvest season earlier.[25] Thanksgiving in Canada did not have a fixed date until the late 19th century. Prior to Canadian Confederation, many of the individual colonial governors of the Canadian provinces had declared their own days of Thanksgiving. The first official Canadian Thanksgiving occurred on April 15, 1872, when the nation was celebrating the Prince of Wales' recovery from a serious illness.[25] By the end of the 19th century, Thanksgiving Day was normally celebrated on November 6. However, when World War I ended, the Armistice Day holiday was usually held during the same week. To prevent the two holidays from clashing with one another, in 1957 the Canadian Parliament proclaimed Thanksgiving to be observed on its present date on the second Monday of October.[6]

United States

Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various dates throughout history. From the time of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln, the date Thanksgiving was observed varied from state to state. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 19th century, coinciding with and eventually superseding the existing holiday of Evacuation Day (a day commemorating the British exit from the United States following the Revolutionary War).[26] Modern Thanksgiving was first officially called for in all states in 1863 by a presidential proclamation of Abraham Lincoln. Influenced by the campaigning of author Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote letters to politicians for around 40 years trying to make it an official holiday, Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving on the final Thursday in November, explicitly in celebration of the bounties that had continued to fall on the Union and for the military successes in the war.[27] Because of the ongoing Civil War, a nationwide Thanksgiving date was not realized until Reconstruction was completed in the 1870s.

On October 31, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a presidential proclamation changing the holiday to the next to last Thursday in November, for business reasons.[28] On December 26, 1941, he signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday.[29]

Since 1971, when the American Uniform Monday Holiday Act took effect, the American observance of Columbus Day has coincided with the Canadian observance of Thanksgiving.[30][31]

Observance

Australia

In the Australian external territory of Norfolk Island, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Wednesday of November, similar to the pre–World War II American observance on the last Thursday of the month. This means the Norfolk Island observance is the day before or six days after the United States' observance. The holiday was brought to the island by visiting American whaling ships.[32]

Canada

Thanksgiving 2008 pumpkin pie with pecans
Pumpkin pie is commonly served on and around Thanksgiving in North America.

Thanksgiving (French: l'Action de grâce), occurring on the second Monday in October, is an annual Canadian holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season. Although the original act of Parliament references God and the holiday is celebrated in churches, the holiday is mostly celebrated in a secular manner. Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in all provinces in Canada, except for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. While businesses may remain open in these provinces, the holiday is nonetheless recognized and celebrated regardless of its status.[33][34][35][36][37]

Grenada

In the West Indian island of Grenada, in the Caribbean, there is a national holiday known as Thanksgiving Day which is celebrated on October 25. Even though it bears the same name, and is celebrated at roughly the same time as the American and Canadian versions of Thanksgiving, this holiday is unrelated to either of those celebrations. Instead the holiday marks the anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of the island in 1983, in response to the deposition and execution of the socialist Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop[38] by a military government from within his own party.

Liberia

In the West African country of Liberia, which began in 1820 with the colonization of freed African Americans (Americo-Liberians) from the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the first Thursday of November.[39]

Netherlands

25446 Pieterskerk
Pieterskerk

Many of the Pilgrims who migrated to the Plymouth Plantation had resided in the city of Leiden from 1609–1620, and had recorded their births, marriages, and deaths at the Pieterskerk (St. Peter's church). To commemorate this, a non-denominational Thanksgiving Day service is held each year on the morning of the American Thanksgiving Day in the Pieterskerk, a Gothic church in Leiden, noting the hospitality the Pilgrims received in Leiden on their way to the New World.[40]

Besides this, Thanksgiving is observed by orthodox Protestant churches in The Netherlands on the first Wednesday in November (Dankdag). It is not a public holiday. Those who observe the day either only go to church in the evening or take the day off and go to church in the morning (and occasionally afternoon) too.

Philippines

The Philippines, while it was an American colony in the first half of the 20th century, celebrated Thanksgiving as a special public holiday on the same day as the Americans. During the Japanese occupation during World War II, both the Americans and Filipinos celebrated Thanksgiving in secret. After Japanese withdrawal in 1945, the tradition continued until 1969. It was revived by President Ferdinand Marcos, but the date was changed to be on every September 21, when martial law was imposed in the country. After Marcos' ouster in 1986, the tradition was no longer continued, due to the controversial events that occurred during his long administration.[41]

Today Thanksgiving Day is now recently being celebrated as a commercial and cultural holiday, albelt stripped of its official status. SM Supermalls led the way in the slow revival of Thanksgiving Day on the same day as in the US, as in the old days. Many malls and hotels offer special sales on this day, which is part of the long celebration of Christmas in the Philippines, which begins in September (unlike on Black Friday in the United States).

Saint Lucia

The nation of Saint Lucia celebrates Thanksgiving on the first Monday in October.[42]

United States

Thanksgiving, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in 1941, has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States. Historically, Thanksgiving has traditionally been a celebration of the blessings of the year, including the harvest.[43] What Americans call the "Holiday Season" generally begins with Thanksgiving.[44] Thanksgiving is celebrated both with family and in public places with parades such as Macy's Thanksgiving Parade[45] in New York City, ABC Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade[46] in Philadelphia, America's Hometown Thanksgiving Parade in Plymouth, Massachusetts, McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago, and Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Parade[47] in New Orleans. This first day after Thanksgiving Day—Black Friday (shopping)—marks the start of the Christmas shopping season.[48]

Similar holidays

Germany

Treherz Pfarrkirche Erntedankteppich 2007
A food decoration for Erntedankfest, a Christian Thanksgiving harvest festival celebrated in Germany

The Harvest Thanksgiving Festival, Erntedankfest, is a popular German Christian festival on the first Sunday of October. The festival has a significant religious component, and unlike its North American counterpart, it usually does not include large dinners. Many churches are decorated with autumn crops, beautifully arranged in front of the altar. In some places, there are religious processions or parades. Many Bavarian beer festivals, like the Munich Oktoberfest, take place within the vicinity of Erntedankfest.

The United States has observed German-American Day annually on October 6, within the vicinity of Erntedankfest, from 1883 until the early 1910s, then again from 1983 to the present day.

Japan

Labor Thanksgiving Day (勤労感謝の日 Kinrō Kansha no Hi) is a national holiday in Japan. It takes place annually on November 23. The law establishing the holiday, which was adopted during the American occupation after World War II, cites it as an occasion for commemorating labor and production and giving one another thanks. It has roots in an ancient Shinto harvest ceremony (Niiname-sai (新嘗祭)).

United Kingdom

Harvest Festival Flowers at Shrewsbury United Reformed Church - geograph.org.uk - 1478601
Harvest Festival flowers at a church in Shrewsbury, England

The Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving does not have an official date in the United Kingdom; however, it is traditionally held on or near the Sunday of the harvest moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. Harvest Thanksgiving in Britain also has pre-Christian roots when the Saxons would offer the first sheaf of barley, oats, or wheat to fertility gods. When the harvest was finally collected, communities would come together for a harvest supper.[49] When Christianity arrived in Britain many traditions remained, and today the Harvest Festival is marked by churches and schools in late September/early October (same as Canada) with singing, praying and decorating with baskets of food and fruit to celebrate a successful harvest and to give thanks.[50] Collections of food are usually held which are then given to local charities which help the homeless and those in need.

India

Thai Pongal is the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival[51] celebrated primarily in India, Sri Lanka,[52][53] and Malaysia.[54] In other parts of India, a similar harvest festival is celebrated as Makar Sankranti. It is a four-day festival, which according to the Gregorian calendar is normally celebrated from January 14 to January 16.[55] This corresponds to the period from the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of the Tamil month Thai. The festival is mainly celebrated to convey appreciation to the Sun God for a successful harvest. Part of the celebration is the boiling of the first rice of the season consecrated to the Sun – the Surya Maangalyam. The origins of the Thai Pongal festival may date back more than 1000 years.[51]

In Western Odisha, the day of Pousa Purnima on the saka calendar is commonly known as Pus Puni. It is marked as a day of thanksgiving to mother nature for a good harvest and is celebrated by making regional food items cultivated and harvested by farmers, all food items are given out and served as a reminder of being caretakers of the harvest.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Hodgson, pp. 156–59
  2. ^ Baker, Chapter 1, especially pp. 12–15.
  3. ^ a b Baker, James W. (2009). Thanksgiving: the biography of an American holiday. UPNE. pp. 1–14. ISBN 9781584658016.
  4. ^ Mills, David; Neilson Bonikowsky, Laura; McIntosh, Andrew. "Thanksgiving in Canada". Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  5. ^ Kaufman, Jason Andrew (2009). The Origins of Canadian & American Political Differences. Harvard University Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0674031364.
  6. ^ a b c Solski, Ruth "Canada's Traditions and Celebrations" McGill-Queen's Press,ISBN 1550356941 p. 12
  7. ^ "The First Thanksgiving". The Virginia Historical Society. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  8. ^ Dowdy, Clifford (1957). The Great Plantation. Rinehart and Co. pp. 29–37.
  9. ^ Julian, Sheryl. "History is Served", The Boston Globe, November 20, 1996
  10. ^ a b c Baker, Chapter 1.
  11. ^ Alvin J. Schmidt (2004). How Christianity Changed the World. Zondervan. ISBN 9780310264491. Retrieved January 30, 2012. Their leader, Governor William Bradford, issued a formal proclamation commanding the people to give thanks to God for having received divine protection during a terrible winter and for having received their first harvest. It was also new that the Pilgrims celebrated their thanksgiving by eating wild turkey (an indigenous bird) and venison.
  12. ^ Jeremy Bangs. "Influences". The Pilgrims' Leiden. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  13. ^ Bunker, Nick (2010). Making Haste From Babylon: the Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World. New York: Vintage Books. pp. 220–21. ISBN 9780307386267.
  14. ^ Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620–1647, pp. 120–21.
  15. ^ Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation, pp. 135–42.
  16. ^ The fast and thanksgiving days of New England by William DeLoss Love, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., Cambridge, 1895
  17. ^ Kaufman, Jason Andrew (2009). The origins of Canadian and American political differences. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0674031364.
  18. ^ Klos, Stanley. "Thanksgiving Day Proclamations". Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations. Historic.us. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  19. ^ Hodgson, pp. 159–66
  20. ^ Hodgson, p. 167
  21. ^ "John F. Kennedy 35th President, Thanksgiving Proclamation, Nov. 5, 1963". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  22. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2011). Thanksgiving. Eds. Cutler Cleveland & Peter Saundry. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
  23. ^ Wilson, Craig (November 21, 2007). "Florida teacher chips away at Plymouth Rock Thanksgiving myth". Usatoday.com. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  24. ^ Davis, Kenneth C. (November 25, 2008). "A French Connection". Nytimes.com. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  25. ^ a b Kaufman, Jason Andrew (2009). "The origins of Canadian and American political differences" Harvard University Press, ISBN 0674031369 p. 29
  26. ^ "Evacuation Day: New York's Former November Holiday". November 24, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  27. ^ "Thanksgiving Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln". www.abrahamlincolnonline.org. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  28. ^ "Declares Nov. 23 as Thanksgiving," Associated Press, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Wisconsin, October 31, 1939, p. 1
  29. ^ "Congress Establishes Thanksgiving," Center for Legislative Analysis, National Archives
  30. ^ "LBJ Signs Bill to Set Up Five 3-Day Holidays". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. via Google News. Associated Press. June 29, 1968. Retrieved December 6, 2011.The bill in question became the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
  31. ^ "Text of the 1968 Uniform Monday Holiday Act". US Government Archives (www.archives.gov). Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  32. ^ "Norfolk Island Information and Services". Archived from the original on September 20, 2010.
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 18, 2010. Retrieved December 8, 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ "Thanksgiving – is it a Statutory Holiday?". Government of Nova Scotia. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
  35. ^ "Statutes, Chapter E-6.2" (PDF). Government of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
  36. ^ "RSNL1990 Chapter L-2 – Labour Standards Act". Assembly of Newfoundland. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
  37. ^ "Statutory Holidays" (PDF). Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 29, 2008.
  38. ^ "Public Holidays & Events 2017". GOV.gd. October 12, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  39. ^ "Vice President Boakai Joins Catholic Community in Bomi to Celebrate Thanksgiving Day". The Executive Mansion. Republic of Liberia. November 5, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  40. ^ "Dutch town". The World (radio program). Retrieved November 28, 2008. The Pilgrims arrived in Leiden in 1609, after fleeing religious persecution in England. Leiden welcomed them because it needed immigrants to help rebuild its textile industry, which had been devastated by a long revolt against Spain. Here, the Pilgrims were allowed to worship as they wanted, and they even published their arguments calling for the separation of church and state. Jeremy Bangs directs the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum. He says the Pilgrims quickly adopted several Dutch customs, like civil marriage and Thanksgiving.
  41. ^ "Thanksgiving in the Philippines". Philippine Presidential Museum and Library. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  42. ^ "Saint Lucia's List of Holidays for the Year 2015" (PDF). Stluciachamber.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 14, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  43. ^ "Thanksgiving Day". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  44. ^ Hargis, Toni (November 4, 2013). "A Brit's Guide to the Holiday Season". BBC America.
  45. ^ "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade". Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  46. ^ "6ABC THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE". Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  47. ^ "Bayou Classic". Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  48. ^ "When is Thanksgiving Day and why is it celebrated". November 22, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  49. ^ "Harvest Festival UK". Crewsnest.vispa.com. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  50. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  51. ^ a b "Meaning of 'Thai Pongal'". The Hindu. Tamil Nadu. January 13, 2008. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  52. ^ "Thai Pongal தை பொங்கல் Festival 2015 | University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka". Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  53. ^ "Washington Embassy celebrates Thai Pongal | Embassy of Sri Lanka – Washington DC". Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  54. ^ "Malaysian Prime Minister Greets Ethnic Tamils on Pongal". Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  55. ^ "Pongal – Harvest Festival". pongal-festival.com.

Sources

External links

American football on Thanksgiving

American football is one of the many traditions in American culture that is associated with Thanksgiving Day. Virtually every level of football, from amateur and high school to college and the NFL (including the CFL on Canadian Thanksgiving), plays football on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) or the immediately following holiday weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

Black Friday (shopping)

Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of America's Christmas shopping season since 1952, although the term "Black Friday" didn't become widely used until more recent decades.

Many stores offer highly promoted sales on Black Friday and open very early, such as at midnight, or may even start their sales at some time on Thanksgiving. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe "The Day After Thanksgiving" as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday, such as Columbus Day. Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, makes it a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers.

Black Friday has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate, have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time. Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock, creating a state of positive feedback.

In 2014, spending volume on Black Friday fell for the first time since the 2008 recession. $50.9 billion was spent during the 4-day Black Friday weekend, down 11% from the previous year. However, the U.S. economy was not in a recession. Christmas creep has been cited as a factor in the diminishing importance of Black Friday, as many retailers now spread out their promotions over the entire months of November and December rather than concentrate them on a single shopping day or weekend.The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. This usage dates to at least 1961. More than twenty years later, as the phrase became more widespread, a popular explanation became that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being "in the red" to being "in the black".For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to 5:00 or 4:00. This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several retailers (including Target, Kohl's, Macy's, Best Buy, and Bealls) opened at midnight for the first time. In 2012, Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, prompting calls for a walkout among some workers. In 2014, stores such as JCPenney, Best Buy, and Radio Shack opened at 5:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day while stores such as Target, Walmart, Belk, and Sears opened at 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Three states, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts, prohibit large supermarkets, big box stores, and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving, due to what critics refer to as blue laws. The Massachusetts ban on forcing employees to work on major holidays is not a religion-driven "blue law" but part of the state's Common Day of Rest Law. A bill to allow stores to open on Thanksgiving Day was the subject of a public hearing on July 8, 2017.There have been reports of violence occurring between shoppers on Black Friday. Since 2006, there have been 12 reported deaths and 117 injuries throughout the United States. It is common for prospective shoppers to camp out over the Thanksgiving holiday in an effort to secure a place in front of the line and thus a better chance at getting desired items. This poses a significant safety risk, such as the use of propane and generators in the most elaborate cases, and in general, the blocking of emergency access and fire lanes, causing at least one city to ban the practice.

Since the start of the 21st century, there have been attempts by retailers with origins in the United States to introduce a retail "Black Friday" to other countries around the world. In several countries, local retailers have attempted to promote the day to remain competitive with US-based online retailers.

Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce or cranberry jam is a sauce or relish made out of cranberries, commonly served as a condiment with Thanksgiving dinner in North America and Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom and Canada. There are differences in flavor depending on the geography of where the sauce is made: in Europe it is generally slightly sour-tasting, while in North America it is typically more heavily sweetened.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online. The term was coined by Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation and Scott Silverman, and made its debut on November 28, 2005, in a Shop.org press release entitled "'Cyber Monday' Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year". It is on the Monday after Thanksgiving, and most of the time falls in November, but if Thanksgiving is on November 27 or 28, it will fall in December. The date range is November 26 to December 2, and is always four days after the holiday.

According to the Shop.org/Bizrate Research 2005 eHoliday Mood Study, "77 percent of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday this year (2005)".

In 2017, Cyber Monday online sales grew to a record $6.59 billion, compared with $2.98 billion in 2015, and $2.65 billion in 2014. However, the average order value was $128, down slightly from 2014's $160.Cyber Monday has become the online equivalent to Black Friday and offers a way for smaller retail websites to compete with larger chains. Since its inception, it has become an international marketing term used by online retailers across the world.

Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Cowboys compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The team is headquartered in Frisco, Texas, and plays its home games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which opened for the 2009 season. The stadium took its current name prior to the 2013 season. The Cowboys joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. The team's national following might best be represented by its NFL record of consecutive sell-outs. The Cowboys' streak of 190 consecutive sold-out regular and post-season games (home and away) began in 2002. The franchise has made it to the Super Bowl eight times, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos for second most Super Bowl appearances in history, just behind the New England Patriots record eleven Super Bowl appearances. This has also corresponded to eight NFC championships, most in the NFC. The Cowboys have won five of those Super Bowl appearances, tying them with their NFC rivals, the San Francisco 49ers; both are second to Pittsburgh's and New England's record six Super Bowl championships. The Cowboys are the only NFL team to record 20 straight winning seasons (1966–85), in which they missed the playoffs only twice (1974 and 1984).

In 2015, the Dallas Cowboys became the first sports team to be valued at $4 billion, making it the most valuable sports team in the world, according to Forbes. The Cowboys also generated $620 million in revenue in 2014, a record for a U.S. sports team. In 2018 they also became the first NFL franchise to be valued at $5 billion and making Forbes' list as the most valued NFL team for the 12th straight year.

Harvest festival

A harvest festival is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. Given the differences in climate and crops around the world, harvest festivals can be found at various times at different places. Harvest festivals typically feature feasting, both family and public, with foods that are drawn from crops that come to maturity around the time of the festival. Ample food and freedom from the necessity to work in the fields are two central features of harvest festivals: eating, merriment, contests, music and romance are common features of harvest festivals around the world.

In North America, Canada and the US each have their own Thanksgiving celebrations in October and November.

In Britain, thanks have been given for successful harvests since pagan times. Harvest festival is traditionally held on the Sunday near or of the Harvest Moon. This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox (22 or 23 September). The celebrations on this day usually include singing hymns, praying, and decorating churches with baskets of fruit and food in the festival known as Harvest Festival, Harvest Home, Harvest Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving.

In British and English-Caribbean churches, chapels and schools, and some Canadian churches, people bring in produce from the garden, the allotment or farm. The food is often distributed among the poor and senior citizens of the local community, or used to raise funds for the church, or charity.

Harvest festivals in Asia include the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節), one of the most widely spread harvest festivals in the world. In Iran Mehrgan was celebrated in an extravagant style at Persepolis. Not only was it the time for harvest, but it was also the time when the taxes were collected. Visitors from different parts of the Persian Empire brought gifts for the king, all contributing to a lively festival. In India, Makar Sankranti, Thai Pongal, Uttarayana, Lohri, and Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in January, Holi in February–March, Vaisakhi in April and Onam in August–September are a few important harvest festivals.

Jews celebrate the week-long harvest festival of Sukkot in the autumn. Observant Jews build a temporary hut or shack called a sukkah, and spend the week living, eating, sleeping, and praying inside of it. A sukkah has only three walls and a semi-open roof to allow the elements to enter. It is reminiscent of the structures Israelite farmers would live in during the harvest, at the end of which they would bring a portion to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular

Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular is a Thanksgiving television special with American singer Lady Gaga and the Muppets. The 90-minute program aired on ABC on November 28, 2013, with guest stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elton John and RuPaul and an appearance by Kristen Bell. It was the second Gaga Thanksgiving special on ABC, after A Very Gaga Thanksgiving in 2011. The singer had previously collaborated with the Muppets on media appearances and in her shows.

The special featured songs from Gaga's third studio album, Artpop, and duets with the guest stars. Critics gave the special mixed reviews, with some praising Gaga for being relatable in the show. Other reviewers were disappointed with its lack of production ideas, other than as a promotion for Artpop. It had lower ratings than other Thanksgiving specials, with a total of 3.62 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in the adult age 18–49 demographic.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, one of the world's largest parades, is presented by the U.S. based department store chain Macy's. The parade started in 1924, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States with America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit (with both parades being four years younger than Philadelphia's Thanksgiving Day Parade). The three-hour parade is held in Manhattan from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thanksgiving Day, and has been televised nationally on NBC since 1952. Employees at Macy's department stores have the option of marching in the parade.

NFL on Thanksgiving Day

Since its inception in 1920, the National Football League has played games on Thanksgiving Day, patterned upon the historic playing of college football games on and around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Since 1978, the NFL's Thanksgiving Day games have traditionally included one game hosted by the Detroit Lions, and one game hosted by the Dallas Cowboys. Since 2006, with the advent of the NFL's then-new Thursday Night Football, a third primetime game has also been played on Thanksgiving; unlike the traditional afternoon doubleheader, this game has no fixed host and has featured different teams annually. In 2012, the primetime game was moved to NBC's Sunday Night Football package.

National Thanksgiving Proclamation

The National Thanksgiving Proclamation was the first formal proclamation of Thanksgiving in the United States. President George Washington declared Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.

Pumpkin

A pumpkin is a cultivar of a squash plant, most commonly of Cucurbita pepo, that is round with smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and most often deep yellow to orange in coloration. The thick shell contains the seeds and pulp. Some exceptionally large cultivars of squash with similar appearance have also been derived from Cucurbita maxima. Specific cultivars of winter squash derived from other species, including C. argyrosperma and C. moschata, are also sometimes called "pumpkin".Native to North America (northeastern Mexico and southern United States), pumpkins are one of the oldest domesticated plants, having been used as early as 7,500 to 5,000 BC. Pumpkins are widely grown for commercial use and are used both for food and recreation. Pumpkin pie, for instance, is a traditional part of Thanksgiving meals in Canada and the United States, and pumpkins are frequently carved as jack-o'-lanterns for decoration around Halloween, although commercially canned pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie fillings are usually made from different kinds of winter squash than the ones used for jack-o'-lanterns.

Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie is a dessert pie with a spiced, pumpkin-based custard filling. The pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time, and pumpkin pie is often eaten during the fall and early winter. In the United States and Canada, it is usually prepared for Thanksgiving, and other occasions when pumpkin is in season.

The pie filling ranges in color from orange to brown, and is baked in a single pie shell, rarely with a top crust. The pie is generally flavored with cinnamon, powdered ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Allspice is also commonly used and can replace the clove and nutmeg, as its flavor is similar to both combined. Cardamom and vanilla are also sometimes used as batter spices. The spice mixture is called pumpkin pie spice.

The pie is often made from canned pumpkin or packaged pumpkin pie filling (spices included), mainly from varieties of Cucurbita moschata.'

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held during the Saturday after US Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. This Saturday is always the last one in November, so falls between November 24 and November 30.

Thanksgiving (Canada)

Thanksgiving (French: Action de grâce), or Thanksgiving Day (French: Jour de l'Action de grâce) is an annual Canadian holiday, occurring on the second Monday in October, which celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Canadian Thanksgiving also coincides with Columbus Day in the USA. In the USA, Columbus Day, which is also on the second Monday of October, remembers Christopher Columbus' arrival to the Americas on October 12, 1492. Columbus Day is a National Holiday in the USA making it possible for any US Citizens to take the day off and travel to Canada for an early Thanksgiving in October.

Thanksgiving has been officially celebrated as an annual holiday in Canada since November 6, 1879. While the date varied by year and was not fixed, it was commonly the third Monday in October.On January 31, 1957, the Governor General of Canada Vincent Massey issued a proclamation stating:

"A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the second Monday in October."

Thanksgiving (United States)

Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It originated as a harvest festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by George Washington after a request by Congress. Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, and its celebration was intermittent until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, when Thanksgiving became a federal holiday in 1863, during the American Civil War. Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the date was changed to the fourth Thursday in November, an innovation that endures to this day. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader fall–winter holiday season in the U.S.

The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days, and—as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow—it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.

Thanksgiving Day Classic

The Thanksgiving Day Classic is an annual doubleheader held on Thanksgiving in the Canadian Football League (CFL). It is typically one of two days in which the league plays on a Monday afternoon; the other is the Labour Day Classic. Unlike the Labour Day Classic, the teams in the Thanksgiving Day Classic rotate each year. The games also lack a presenting sponsor as the Labour Day Classic games have.

The Montreal Alouettes have traditionally been given hosting duties for the opening game. This was originally started in 1997 to compensate for not being part of the Labour Day Classic festivities; Montreal and the various Ottawa franchises normally play on Labour Day when both franchises are active. The Alouettes' permanent hosting of Thanksgiving remained in place after Ottawa returned to the league in 2014. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats played CFL games annually in all but three years between 1958 and 1982, hosting the vast majority of them; Hamilton also hosted three times in four years from 1990 to 1993 and again hosted a Thanksgiving matchup in 2013 due to stadium construction disrupting their hosting of the 2013 Labour Day Classic.

Since the CFL's creation in 1958 to the 2018, there have been 120 games played on Thanksgiving Day. The 2019 CFL season will be the first in league history to feature no games on Thanksgiving Day.Despite Canadian Thanksgiving being a legal holiday in the United States (Columbus Day), none of the CFL's American teams ever played the Thanksgiving Day Classic. The games have also not been televised live in the United States since 2009, although one of the two was broadcast on tape-delay in 2013.

Thanksgiving after Communion

Thanksgiving after Communion is a spiritual practice among Christians who believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Communion bread, maintaining themselves in prayer for some time to thank God and especially listening in their hearts for guidance from their Divine guest. This practice was and is highly recommended by saints, theologians, and Doctors of the Church.

Thanksgiving dinner

The centerpiece of contemporary Thanksgiving in the United States and Canada is a large meal, generally centered on a large roasted turkey. It is served with a variety of side dishes which vary from traditional dishes such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, to ones that reflect regional or cultural heritage. The majority of the dishes in the traditional American version of Thanksgiving dinner are made from foods native to the New World, as according to tradition the Pilgrims received these foods, or learned how to grow them, from the Native Americans. Thanksgiving dinner is the largest eating event in the United States; people eat more on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year.

Turkey as food

Turkey meat, commonly referred to as just turkey, is the meat from turkeys, typically domesticated turkeys. It is a popular poultry dish, especially in North America, where it is traditionally consumed as part of culturally significant events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as in standard cuisine.

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