It all started with a ship called the Mayflower in 1620. The people who decided to give everything up in the home country and sail across the sea became known as the pilgrims. All they desired was the ability to practice religion freely. After arriving in Massachusetts, the pilgrims struggled to survive for the first year that they were settled there for. After narrowly surviving through the first winter, the pilgrims were in desperate need of help. Luckily for them, along came a native who spoke English. He taught the settlers how to cultivate, or prepare, the land for growing corn. After the first corn harvest was successful in November, the governor declared that they would have a feast to celebrate, along with all the settlers and the natives who helped them. Today, the holiday is meant to be spent with family and friends, celebrating with good food and gratitude for all the things in life.
Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that centers around cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. About 90% of Americans eat Turkey,even though it might not have been offered at the first feast the pilgrims held in 1621. Some other typical foods found on the dinner table are stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. One tradition that has become popular is that the president of the United States pardons a turkey and sends it to live a full like on a farm rather than ending up on the dinner table. Volunteering and food drives for families that don’t have the means to provide their families with food is also one of the most heart warming tradition to have around Thanksgiving time. There is also the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, drawing millions of people in the streets as well as millions of viewers on television. American football also has some screen time during the few days off that most Americans have. This is also a time of savings, as everyone gets excited for Christmas as soon as the last plate is finished on Thanksgiving. Whereas it use to be one day, Black Friday spans the whole weekend, with endless deals and many people determined to get a jumpstart on their Christmas list. Above all else, the holiday is meant to give thanks and to feel gratitude for the people in each other’s lives.