On November 26, the United States celebrates one of the most important holidays - Thanksgiving. This is one of the most popular family holidays. In America, it is traditionally celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, and in Canada - on the second Monday of October. Its religious roots have long been forgotten, and now this holiday has become a family celebration.
Thanksgiving prayers and special rites after the harvest are widespread in almost all religions. The history of American Thanksgiving goes back to ancient English traditions. It is believed that it was the settlers from England who arrived in the New World in 1620, who laid down this tradition. The first documented information about the holiday dates back to 1621, when in the city of Plymouth, now Massachusetts, if the harvest was bountiful, a large meal was organized, which became the first Thanksgiving.
The first President of the United States, George Washington, suggested celebrating Thanksgiving as a national holiday. In 1941, the US Congress voted to celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November as a national holiday.
The tradition of the holiday is very simple: several generations of one family gather in a family circle for a festive dinner. During lunch, those present hold hands and say words of gratitude.
The main dish of the holiday is stuffed turkey with cranberry sauce. In addition, a pumpkin pie is served on the table. The table is usually decorated with small pumpkins.
This is probably the only holiday that really gathers family members at least once a year. Often, because everyone goes to their relatives, huge traffic jams form on the roads. Like, for example, this one.
There is another tradition - the White House holds a Turkey Pardoning Ceremony on the eve of the holiday. The White House notes that the tradition dates back to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. In 1865, a White House reporter wrote that Lincoln's son Ted had asked to leave alive a turkey that was planned to be cooked for Thanksgiving. The boy's wishes were granted. But pardoning a turkey on the eve of the holiday has not yet become a tradition, and turkey was served at the presidential table. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy pardoned a turkey given to him.
The tradition took root under George W. Bush in 1989. And since then, the Turkey Pardoning Ceremony has been held annually at the White House.
Turkeys are supplied by the National Turkey Federation. Several birds are selected for the ceremony, and their candidacies are then put for voting on the White House website. The ceremony takes place in the Rose Garden of the White House.
In addition, US presidents often give away dinner to the homeless or the elderly on the eve of the holiday.
A parade organized by Macy's largest department store is also usually held in New York, which is also one of the attributes of the holiday. Huge inflatable toys are carried from Central Park to the entrance to the department store - opposite the Herald Square. The parade is shown live on television. It has been held since 1924.
Inflatable toys look like the characters of cartoons, fairy tales, TV shows, movies. The parade always gathers a lot of tourists.
In 2020, the parade had to be adjusted due to the global pandemic of the coronavirus Covid-19.
As a result, this year's traditional parade will be a TV show, without crowds of spectators, but with a traditional set of entertainment. The route of the parade will be in only one block, not the usual three kilometers. Malls agency writes that instead of 8,000 people usually involved organizing the parade only 960 people were involved in 2020. The number of giant inflatable figures was reduced from 16 to 12, and the number of platforms - from 26 to 18.
After Thanksgiving, long-awaited Christmas sales, known as Black Friday, start in all the US stores.