Thanksgiving is meant for eating

The highest public holiday in the United States - Thanksgiving 2018: This is why the American holiday is celebrated so big

In Germany, Christmas is the most important gathering within the family. In the US, on the other hand, it's Thanksgiving - the festival even crashes traffic across the country.

When is Thanksgiving 2018 in the US?

It is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in November, this year on November 22nd. Our harvest festival can hardly be compared with it. The harvest festival, as it is celebrated in Europe, is namely a church holiday. In church services people thank the Lord for his gifts. In addition, people are thought of who are not so richly gifted and who may have to go hungry. The date varies depending on the year:

• Thanksgiving Day 2018: November 22nd

• Thanksgiving Day 2019: November 28th

• Thanksgiving Day 2020: November 26th

History of Thanksgiving: festival dates back to the colonization of Europeans

American Thanksgiving has a different background: It goes back to colonization by the Europeans. The settlers of the Church of England came to America with the Mayflower in the winter of 1620 and were surprised there by the winter.

First Thanksgiving in Plymouth in 1621

The first Thanksgiving festival in 1621 (color print from 1932, after a painting by Jean Léon Jérôme Ferris). Source: picture alliance / akg-images

Those who survived built a settlement in the spring and were initially supported in growing food by an Indian tribe, the Wampanoag. According to tradition, the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth in 1621. The colonial governor at the time had planned a festival to thank him for a good harvest. The original inhabitants of the Wampanoag were also present at the festival, without whom the colonists would not have survived the previous winter. Other sources claim that similar festivals have taken place before. Today's Americans and Canadians attribute their Thanksgiving to the year 1621.

“Mary had a little lamb” author fought for the holiday for 17 years

In 1863, President Lincoln introduced a national day of thanksgiving, choosing the last Thursday in November to begin with. But the initiator was someone else. Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of "Mary had a little lamb," asked a total of five presidents to make the occasion a public holiday. Eventually Lincoln gave in - 17 years after Hale wrote her first letter. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the day forward a week to extend the shopping season leading up to Christmas. In the following two years there were sometimes very different regulations in the individual states.

Black Friday follows Thanksgiving

In 1941, Congress decided to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, setting it to be the fourth Thursday in November. The following Friday, many of the workers take time off to extend the weekend. The term "Black Friday" has become common for this day, on which the retail trade grants huge discounts.

How is Thanksgiving celebrated today?

The whole family usually gets together on Thanksgiving. Gifts are not common. A few days before the festival it is proclaimed by the US President, addressing important events of the current and next year and expressing his thanks and the thanks of the nation. The industry associations present the president with a turkey every year, who is then pardoned.

Thanksgiving meal: stuffed turkey

Wild turkeys already existed in the 17th century, but whether they were used as a feast on the first Thanksgiving in 1621, historians cannot be sure. It is still part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal these days, fried and stuffed. In addition, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, apple and pumpkin pie as well as vegetables such as pumpkin, green peas and corn are served. A prayer of thanks is usually said beforehand. Then it goes in front of the television - to watch football.

Read also: In England turkeys are guarded by alpacas.

From RND / df