Thanksgiving Day in 2017 will be observed on Thursday, 23rd November. In the United States, Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

What is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving day is a national holiday celebrated in the United States, Canada and some of the Caribbean islands and Liberia. History says that it began in the early 16th century as a day of giving thanks for the blessings of the harvest.

Today, Thanksgiving Day is a public holiday which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.

What Do People Do?

Thanksgiving is one of the most family-oriented holidays on the calendar, and it is easily the most “relaxed” of them since it is generally spent entirely at home with family and friends. It is a federal holiday. People provide free Thanksgiving dinners for the needy, holding food drives, and giving charitable contributions in general.

People host Thanksgiving dinners and brunches. Thanksgiving dinners can consist of a number of items. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, vegetables and numerous desserts. Thanksgiving Day is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have.

Thanksgiving Day parades are held in some cities and towns on or around Thanksgiving Day. Some parades or festivities also mark the opening of the Christmas shopping season. Some people have a four-day weekend so it is a popular time for trips and to visit family and friends.

The History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has been an annual holiday since 1863 in the United States. In that year, during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. He asked his fellow citizens to “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and praise …”. The day was set in stone by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 and in November 1941 Congress finally designated the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day, thus creating a federal holiday.

Thanksgiving Day, as we know it today, began in the early 1600s when settlers in both Massachusetts and Virginia came together to give thanks for their survival, for the fertility of their fields, and for their faith. The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims in Plimoth, Massachusetts, who feasted for 3 days with the Wampanoag people in 1621.