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Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving Day in America?

My schoolteacher talked to us in school today about the roots of Thanksgiving Day. It was very interesting. But it seems that the First Thanksgiving was actually very different from our modern celebration. I think that I prefer it as it is now. I would like to know more about Thanksgiving history.

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1 answer

Ross Pratt on November 12, 2018

Although the current Day of Thanksgiving is not exactly as it used to be in the past, there are still many similarities and the meaning of this celebration is still present in most American homes to this day.

Many people are very happy to celebrate this holiday because they see it as the beginning of the celebration of Christmas. Though it is true that after this date you can start finding Christmas decorations in many stores, Thanksgiving is a holiday on its own. It is a day to remember the Pilgrims and their celebration to thank God for having blessed their harvest.

Some families still celebrate this day as a religious tradition and gather to pray and give thanks for everything that brings happiness and well-being to their lives. Other families celebrate it as a cultural tradition established by the Pilgrims on the occasion of their first successful harvest in America.

As you may have learned at school, the First Thanksgiving celebration happened in October 1621. Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated together that the crop of that year was prosperous. At first sight, it may look very different from the more commercial holiday that we celebrate nowadays. Nevertheless, many family still give thanks for the good things that they have received and the good moments that they have lived during the year, just as the Pilgrims used to do.

Nowadays, it only lasts one day. But the first celebration lasted three days. Celebrations among Pilgrims were actually very common. They used to celebrate different events, such as war victories and the end of the bad weather. Life was very hard for them, especially during their first years in a new land. This explains why every good event was so important to them and why they gave thanks to God and celebrated together.

Nowadays, some people celebrate this holiday with their family, other people celebrate with their friends, but the social aspect of this celebration remains the same, and it keeps the history of Thanksgiving alive. Despite having undergone changes over time, the essence of the original tradition is still there.

Brian Warnera year ago

I remember the history of Thanksgiving. Our parents and grandparents told it to us. But we tend to forget it very often because this holiday, as well as all the other holidays of the year, are nowadays connected to marketing and sales. The words that should be in our minds and hearts on this date should be ‘thank you’, but instead of that we only think about buying now. Buying gifts, buying food, buying tickets for special events related to this holiday. Each family decides whether to keep the original tradition started by the Pilgrims or just let that tradition vanish. I think that the continuity of this celebration as we currently know it depends on them. Fortunately, many families have decided to keep the tradition. They gather every year to say thanks and celebrate with homemade food that they prepare following old recipes passed on from generation to generation. 

Emily Alexandera year ago

For me, Thanksgiving Day is a fantastic holiday – actually the second best day after Christmas – because we come closer to our family and friends to tell them how much we love them and how much we appreciate that they are in our lives. Maybe the reasons to celebrate have changed, according to Thanksgiving history, but people are still grateful for the good things that they have around them and on this day they tell it each other. So I think that the essential meaning of this celebration is still there. 

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