How did Thanksgiving start?
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is today known as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.
Individual colonies and states have celebrated thanksgiving for more than two centuries. However, It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
Nowadays the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centres on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. In many American households, Turkey, is a Thanksgiving staple, whether it was offered when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621 is not known.
However, According to the National Turkey Federation, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird, whether roasted, baked or deep-fried, on Thanksgiving. çOther traditional foods are mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
Another tradition is volunteering. Food drives and host free dinners are often carried out by communities, in order to help the less fortunate.
Another vital part of the holiday, are the parades in cities and towns across the United States. The largest and most important one has been presented by Macy’s department store since 1924 in New York. It attracts millions of spectators and it features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.
Last but not least, an interesting ritual held by the president of the United States, which is believed to have been held sin the 20th century, is the “Pardoning”. It consists in pardoning on or two turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for their retirement.
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