News - Thanksgiving Traditions
For years, we have been celebrating the day our forefathers came to America on a day known as Thanksgiving. U.S. citizens celebrate by participating in a wide variety of traditions dating as far back as the early 1600s.
Some of these traditions are more modern and have just been introduced within the last century. These traditions include a Thanksgiving feast, carving a turkey, and a Thanksgiving Day parade. Thanksgiving today is often used to celebrate the pilgrims coming over to America.
Thanksgiving has been an annual tradition since 1863 when Abraham Lincoln declared it a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” But it wasn’t until 1941 that it became an official holiday to be celebrated the fourth Thursday of November each year.
In 1536, puritans wished to eliminate church holidays and replaced such holidays with either days of fasting or days of thanksgiving depending on the event. Originally, thanksgiving was a day to give thanks to God.
When the puritans came to America, they held a feast that was prompted by a successful harvest. Thanksgiving then became a way to celebrate the harvest each year.
Today, many Americans participate in the Thanksgiving Day feast and will often serve a turkey as the main course. The turkey is native to North America and was a staple in Native American dishes.
When the pilgrims landed in America, the natives showed newcomers what crops to grow and what to eat. Later, during the first Thanksgiving, turkey was served as the main dish because it was so popular to eat during the time period and because turkey was easily found in the region.
As the years passed and the idea of Thanksgiving giving became more and more popular in the United States, more modern traditions came about.
For example, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade only recently became a cultural phenomenon. The event started in the early 1920s when Macy’s employees, who were first generation immigrants, started holding festivals to celebrate their new found heritage.
Since 1924, the event has been held annually in New York City. In the 1930s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade continued to grow and over one-million people lined the streets just to catch a glimpse of the many floats, balloons, and street performers.
Overall, Thanksgiving has turned into an important holiday that is extremely prominent in American culture. From feasts to parades, traditions have been passed down through the generations and many are still in practice today.