Thanksgiving in the USA is celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday of November. This year it takes place on November 26.
Historically, the first Thanksgiving was a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Native American Indian tribe called the Wampanoag. The pilgrims traveled via the Mayflower ship in 1620 in search of new beginnings and landed in what is now known as Cape Cod, Massachusetts. As they prepared for winter, a fellow Wampanoag named Squanto showed them how to grow corn and gather resources for survival. After several meetings, a formal agreement was made between the settlers and the native people to protect each other from other tribes and they had their first harvest feast to commemorate this.
How do we celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S. now?
This is a day dedicated to giving special thanks in appreciation for everything we are grateful for such as family, friends, good health, and more. Friends and family gather together on this day to share a grand meal. The Thanksgiving meal typically includes turkey, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin pie. Some households may do a potluck, where the host provides the turkey, and everyone that visits brings their own side dishes to share with the group.
Thanksgiving is considered one of the busiest traveling holidays of the year, however, this year’s celebrations may be done a little differently in terms of travel and get-togethers. The CDC recommends these lower-risk Thanksgiving activities during these unprecedented times:
- Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
- Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
- Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
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