Giving Thanks for the Fall Harvest, the American Way
Thanksgiving is an annual national holiday commemorating a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. It is held in the US on the fourth Thursday in November. While the Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. For many of us, Thanksgiving is about a 4-day holiday that includes a family get-together, extensive dinner and not forgetting ‘Black Friday’ the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season. Let’s look at the history behind Thanksgiving.
The “first Thanksgiving,” was actually a simple gathering. After the Pilgrims suffered the loss of 46 of their original 102 colonists following the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620 they fought back with the help of 91 Indians. The Pilgrims survived the bitter winter and the land yielded a bountiful harvest in 1621. So they celebrated a Puritan day of thanksgiving festival that lasted for three days. The “thanksgiving” celebration united the Pilgrims and natives together.
It took a span of over 150 more years to establish Thanksgiving as we celebrate it today:
- George Washington proclaimed it a National holiday in 1789
- Lincoln proclaimed it to be the last Thursday in November 1863
- And Congress changed it to the fourth Thursday in 1941
When we speak of Thanksgiving, the first thing that comes in our mind is the big and beautiful bird “Turkey” and all the delicacies complementing the bird. Various dishes are planned well ahead and full attention is given to the taste and presentation. The Asian-American communities living in the Bay Area also celebrate Thanksgiving with their near and distant family members and friends. Thanksgiving dinner gets planned with an Asian twist. Chinese Americans may marinate the turkey with teriyaki sauce, miso glazed carrots and sticky rice with Chinese sausage instead of bread stuffing. Indian Americans may have tandoori turkey, tamarind gravy, curry spiced pumpkin soup, and chutney made with cranberry, ginger and orange.
Following the delightful and plentiful dinner we look forward to all those amazing Black Friday deals. Many of us like to grab the shopping deals and it becomes even more fun when we form a group to shop at various stores. If your parents are visiting USA during this holiday season, this is a great introduction for them to Black Friday. Shop wisely and your parents will have many gifts for your relatives upon returning home.
We look forward for this 4-day long weekend to meet family members, friends and relatives. With visiting relatives, we may extend into a week-long holiday to visit local tourist spots. Airports are naturally flooded with travelers during Thanksgiving. If you happen to travel with small kids, it is advisable to book your flight early and check our blog “Traveling with small children”.
If you are traveling alone or with young children, having a travel companion during the busy air travel season could help you arrive to your destination with less stress and be able to enjoy your family time immediately. Post your trip in TripCompanion.com, provide your travel details and the type of assistance you or your family member needs.
Wish you all have a great Thanksgiving!