Thanksgiving is a holiday observed throughout the United States every fourth Thursday of November. This is usually seen as a chance for families to get together, to give thanks for blessings, and to hope for more in the coming year.
Millions of people in America, whether American citizens or immigrants, take part in communal and familial gatherings during Thanksgiving.
It is believed that the tradition of Thanksgiving started when a group of pilgrims and a company of non-religious men sailed together from the Netherlands to Plymouth Rock in the United States in December 1620. Within months, they lost about a third of their number due to harsh weather. Many of them believed that they would all have died within a year if Native Americans had not helped them make the harvest of 1621 plentiful. They then decided to hold a three-day harvest festival as a way to give thanks. The Thanksgiving feast back then were not celebrated regularly, and many prominent political figures had even opposed to it. However, in 1863, the feast was officially declared a national celebration by Abraham Lincoln. 1941, it was sanctioned as a legal holiday.
Today's modern Thanksgiving is also a celebration centered on a plentiful meal table with the turkey as centerpiece. The turkey is believed to have been a remnant of the 1621 feast, when men were made to go “fowling” for wild birds, which the pilgrims collectively call as “turkeys.” Since 1947, there had been a tradition of the US president sparing the life of one turkey from the dinner table. Other Thanksgiving staples are pumpkin pies and salad. Of course, there's the giving thanks part of the day, when family and friends share stories over a sumptuous meal. The dinner is usually followed by the whole assembly watching football together.