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Thanksgiving 2021: Date, history, significance, celebrations and all you need to know

Thanksgiving 2021: Marked as a national holiday on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, Thanksgiving celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. It is believed that Thanksgiving is modelled on a harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people in 1621. This American holiday has many legends and rituals attached to its name. Additionally, a traditional Thanksgiving meal typically includes turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. It is one of the busiest holidays as families get together and celebrate this day with a hearty meal. This year, Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

Thanksgiving officially marks the beginning of the holiday season. It is also celebrated in Germany, Brazil, Canada, Japan and other countries. Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday of October in Canada.

Thanksgiving History and Significance

Thanksgiving is celebrated to say thanks and recognise the sacrifices and blessings of the past year. The annual celebrations honour the first Thanksgiving feast shared between the colonists in Plymouth, Massachusetts, later known as the Pilgrims, and the Wampanoag Indians.

On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln had proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.

Families and friends get together on Thanksgiving day to enjoy a hearty meal. (Pexels)

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The holiday was annually proclaimed by every President thereafter. However, after a joint resolution of Congress in 1941, President Franklin D Roosevelt issued a proclamation in 1942 designating the fourth Thursday in November (which is not always the last Thursday) as Thanksgiving Day.

Later, with more urbanisation, Thanksgiving became a day for people to get together with their friends and family to celebrate the day with a scrumptious feast. They also decorate their homes to get right into the festive spirit. The holiday moved away from its religious roots to allow immigrants of every background to participate in a common tradition.

Thanksgiving Celebrations

Turkey is central to the Thanksgiving festivities in America. The bird is included in the traditional feast. Moreover, every President of the United States of America follows a ritual every Thanksgiving. They pardon the Thanksgiving turkey on the morning of the celebration.

Additionally, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is held in New York City with other celebrations. It is the world’s largest Thanksgiving parade which consists of giant cartoon balloons that float above the sky accompanied by dancers and marching bands.

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