Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in North America (USA and Canada.) When it is celebrated varies by country – in Canada, it is celebrated on the 2nd Monday in October, whilst in the US and Brazil, it is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November.

History

Thanksgiving in America originally came from English traditions from the Protestant Reformation (when Britain got rid of the monarchy and strict Oliver Cromwell was in charge.) Puritans (strict Protestants) wanted to replace all holidays, including Christmas and Easter, with days of fasting (going without food or water) and days of Thanksgiving. It also has links to harvest festivals that take place around the world to celebrate the collection of the year’s harvest.

In the United States, Thanksgiving has been celebrated since the Founding Fathers, first at a state level and then at a federal (national) level.

Celebrations

Food

To celebrate Thanksgiving, friends and family gather together to have a large meal. Nearly all of these families have turkey, roasted, baked or deep-fried. They will probably also have other food with it, such as pumpkin pies, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes.

A dining table laid out for Thanksgiving, with turkey and other condiments | Kirt Edblom on Flickr

Parades

In the United States, parades are held across the country to celebrate Thanksgiving. The biggest Thanksgiving parade is in New York, with 2 – 3 million people attending each year. They usually have marching bands and elaborate floats and performers.

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