Thanksgiving 2020: All you need to know about the history, significance and celebrations of this feast-filled holiday
Thanksgiving 2020: Here’s all you need to know about the date, importance, history and celebrations behind the holiday which has aspects of a harvest festival and is reserved primarily for offering thanks and acknowledging the sacrifices and blessings of the past year.
Marked on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, Brazil and many countries across the world, Thanksgiving is celebrated with various traditions and rituals. It is a day reserved primarily for offering thanks and acknowledging the sacrifices and blessings of the past year.
It is an annual national holiday that marks the start of the holiday season. Similarly named festival holidays also occur in Germany, Canada, Japan and other countries. Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October.
History and significance
Thanksgiving is deeply rooted in the history of America and its religion and cultural traditions. Americans believe that their thanksgiving is modelled after the 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Native American Wampanoag people. The festival was observed in the manner of a feast that brought together the two peoples in celebration of having survived
This was acknowledged as the first Thanksgiving and for the following two centuries many individual colonies and states celebrated this festival on various days. It wasn’t until 1863, during the American civil war that President Abraham Lincoln declared a national Thanksgiving Day that was to be held each November.
This year Americans are all set to give thanks and celebrate with their families on November 26.
In America, the turkey is central to the celebration of Thanksgiving Day and most feasts include the bird. This ritual is even carried out by the President of the United States of America who pardons the Thanksgiving turkey on the morning of the celebration.
Most families who live away from each other make it a point to get together and celebrate all the blessings of the past years and eat a grand meal together. As family dynamics and people have changed over the course of the years, so have the traditions surrounding the festival. It is a popular joke among the millennials that going home during Thanksgiving is sure to start a political debate with some aunt or uncle once they let their ‘MAGA’ leaning slip.
But even amid the Covid-19 pandemic, families that are unable to meet are organising feasts over Zoom and Facetime in order to cut down the isolation of the pandemic and to give thanks for the well-being of the family during this trying time.
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