History of American Thanksgiving

In the crisp autumn air of early 17th-century America, a small group of Pilgrims, weary from their arduous journey aboard the Mayflower, gathered with Native Americans for a feast that would unknowingly mark the genesis of a cherished American tradition: Thanksgiving.

This humble gathering, held in the fledgling Plymouth Colony in 1621, laid the foundation for what would evolve into a national day of gratitude, familial bonds, and, of course, a bountiful feast. For this feast day, natives go shopping as the big brands offer top cashback and discounts.

The history of American Thanksgiving is a tapestry woven with threads of survival, cooperation, and the enduring spirit of gratitude, transcending centuries to become a cornerstone of American culture.

As we are on a journey through time, let us explore the origins, evolution, and cultural significance of this annual celebration, discovering how a simple harvest feast grew into a cherished national holiday that unites families and communities across the United States. So, without any delay, let’s know about the Thanksgiving culture and tradition.

All About Thanksgiving

Americans have been getting ready for Thanksgiving for the last few weeks. They are buying turkeys and stuffing ingredients for the big day on Thursday, November 23rd. Not only that, but they are buying clothes and other accessories for this feast celebration using the Pocketsinfull coupons. Besides the delicious food, Thanksgiving is a special time when people gather with family or friends to celebrate what they are thankful for. It’s a cultural holiday in the U.S. that represents peace and gratitude. Not only that, but it marks the start of the holiday season.

Origin of Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1619 in Virginia and the other in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This celebration came into existence when the colonists, later known as the Pilgrims, shared their meal with the Wampanoag Indians.

This special feast was to say thanks for the help the Pilgrims got from the Native Americans. The Native Americans taught them how to grow crops and survive the tough winter. The celebration lasted for three days.

Later, Presidents like George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison suggested days of thanks during their time as leaders.

But it wasn’t until 1863, during the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln said there should be a national Thanksgiving Day every November. This day would be for everyone in the country to celebrate together.

American Thanksgiving

While Thanksgiving might have started with religious meaning, it’s mostly a secular (non-religious) holiday now.

For most Americans, Thanksgiving is a day to come together and show thanks by sharing food, being with family, and watching football. Many NFL teams play games on this day, adding to the celebration.

At some Thanksgiving celebrations, people write down what they are thankful for and share it with others by reading it out loud.

In schools, kids learn about the holiday by colouring pictures of Pilgrims, turkeys, and the Mayflower—the ship that the early settlers came on.

On Thanksgiving Day, there’s a big celebration called the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

This is the world’s biggest Thanksgiving parade. It has giant balloons of cartoons that float in the sky above the city, along with marching bands and dancers

Thanksgiving is a big deal in America. But Canada also has its own Thanksgiving Day on the second Monday in October. Liberia celebrates Thanksgiving on the first Thursday of November.

Tradition and Ritual of Thanksgiving

In America, turkeys are a big part of Thanksgiving Day, and most people have turkey for dinner. Around 46 million turkeys get killed annually for the holiday, but the president pardons one turkey each year.

If you don’t eat meat or follow a vegan lifestyle, you can still enjoy Thanksgiving. There are many vegan and vegetarian options.

Americans also love Thanksgiving dishes like yams with marshmallows, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cornbread, and pumpkin pie.
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Best Time to Travel For Thanksgiving

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA predicts that about 55.4 million people will travel at least 50 miles from Wednesday to Sunday, i.e., November 22 to November 26. Although this doesn’t set a new record as compared to the crowd from 2005 and 2019, it’s 2.3% more than the number in 2022. AAA has been estimating Thanksgiving travel since 2000, using a method developed by S&P Global Market Intelligence to predict how many people will actually travel within the country.

Paula Twidale, AAA Travel senior vice president, said, “For many Americans, Thanksgiving and travel go hand in hand, and this holiday, we expect more people on the roads, skies, and seas compared to 2022.” He also added, “Travel demand has been strong all year, and AAA’s Thanksgiving forecast reflects that continued desire to get away and spend time with loved ones.”

Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights, said, “The day before Thanksgiving is notoriously one of the most congested days on our roadways. Travelers should be prepared for long delays, especially in and around major metros.” He additionally said,  “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help minimize holiday traffic frustrations. We advise drivers to use traffic apps, local (Department of Transportation) notifications, and 511 services for real-time updates.”

If you are traveling on Wednesday through big cities, then according to the local Survey, you must expect your journey to take at least 80% longer, as that will be the busiest day for travel.”

INRIX says the busiest time to travel is from 2-6 p.m. on Wednesday, and journeys might take about 11% longer than usual outside of big cities. So, if you can, it’s best to start your trip before 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

Thanksgiving Day’s busiest travel times are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., so it’s a good idea to travel before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m. Black Friday keeps busy too, especially from noon to 4 p.m., so try to travel before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

Looking at the weekend, the peak travel times are from 3-5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. To avoid the rush, it’s recommended to leave before noon.

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