Why do we Celebrate Thanksgiving Day and its Origin?

If you are wondering what’s Thanksgiving, then you should know that it is a national holiday in America when the Americans gather for a family get-together, feasting, and football. There is a story behind why Thanksgiving Day is celebrated. The festival takes place every year on the fourth Thursday of November.

Origin of Thanksgiving

You must know the true story of Thanksgiving to understand its origin. On December 16, 1620, the Mayflower pilgrims landed at the Plymouth Rock. They had a good amount of information about the place due to their mapping skills.

Plymouth Rock was the village of Patuxet and the home of Squanto. Since many generations, people knew the land for its vast cornfields and various other crops. Squanto taught the Mayflower pilgrims how to fish and farm, thereby saving them from starvation.

This is how the Pilgrims survived the first winter. In the next spring, Squanto taught the Mayflower pilgrims various ways to harvest plant crops, berries, and other wild foods. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 by these pilgrims.

The reason for celebrating Thanksgiving was the bountiful harvest that became possible due to Squanto’s help. The pilgrims had a Thanksgiving meal to express their gratitude for the help by Indians. The feast continued for three days.

Must Read: The History of Thanksgiving: Why We Celebrate and How It Has Changed Over Time


Why Is Thanksgiving Celebrated?

Now that you know the origins of Thanksgiving, you must know why Thanksgiving Day in USA is celebrated year after year. The reason for the celebration is the annual harvest.

The fourth Thursday of every November is Thanksgiving Day. Abraham Lincoln was the first US president who officially declared that day for celebrating the festival. In 2018, it falls on Thursday, November 22.

In 1939, Franklin D Roosevelt, the US President set the date in stone. Congress approved the date in 1941. Apart from the US countries, there are various countries that celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

Canada, Liberia, Grenada, Saint Lucia, the Netherlands, and the Philippines also celebrate the festival. People in Canada celebrate it on the second Monday of every October.

Thanksgiving Day started as a festival where people offered thanks every year for the blessings of the rich harvest. According to Thanksgiving history, the Native Americans helped the English colonists start their new life in the US. Therefore, the colonists held a grand feast to thank the Americans.

Must Read: Thanksgiving in America vs. Thanksgiving in Canada: Similarities and Differences

Thanksgiving Day Facts

Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of a popular colonial women’s magazine called Godey’s Lady Book made Thanksgiving a national holiday in the USA. During her long campaign, she had sent five letters to the five presidents of America. This is one of the most fascinating Thanksgiving facts.

Eating roasted turkey is one of the highlights of the festival. Many people give credit to Sarah Josepha Hale for her accounts which laid emphasis on a roast turkey for celebrating the festival.


Most people feel that turkey is the choice of the festival as it is large and can feed many people. Moreover, turkey is a bird that does not serve an important purpose such as making milk or laying eggs.

During 1947, US presidents got turkey as gifts on Thanksgiving Day. They ate the turkeys at the festival.

Check Out: Thanksgiving on a Budget: How to Save Money While Still Enjoying the Holiday

American Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the favorite holidays of Americans. It is the official beginning of the wonderful holiday season. The day lets you celebrate quality time with friends and family.

You enjoy delicious food at home. If your family is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, you do not have to go outside to celebrate it. Every family has their unique Thanksgiving traditions.

The popular dishes prepared on the occasion are pumpkin pie and roast turkey.

Let’s take a look at the reasons why Thanksgiving holiday is the favorite of all:

  1. Amazing Food

The main reason why people in the USA love this festival is the amazing food. There are plenty of festive dishes that will satiate your taste buds. Americans look forward to the Thanksgiving dinner every year.

The best thing about the dinner is the variety of food. Although turkey is the traditional dish, there are also various side dishes such as sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie.

  1. The Official Start to the Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is the ideal time to decorate your house with fairy lights, mistletoe, and wreaths. It marks the beginning of the holiday season.

  1. Family Get-Together

The best thing about the Thanksgiving holiday is that you spend it with your family. People living in different cities reunite with their family and friends on this occasion. The festival is full of love, warmth, and laughter.


  1. Plenty of Leftovers

If you host a Thanksgiving dinner at home, you will have plenty of leftovers. You don’t have to think about lunch or dinner for the next day. The combination of bread, stuffing, roast turkey and cranberry sauce will make a delicious sandwich.

  1. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

One of the best things to do on that day is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. You can see balloon versions of cartoon characters and performances by the best musicians. You can also see the cast of Broadway Shows in the parade.

  1. Football

Apart from feasting with family, Thanksgiving Holiday is also about football. Three NFL games take place on that particular day.

Various NCAA games also take place on the weekend. Sports fans have a lot of options for this festival.

  1. National Dog Show

If you are an animal lover, you can watch the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day. The American Kennel Club organizes the dog show every year. Talented and adorable dogs of various breeds compete at this particular show.

Also See: Why do we Celebrate Thanksgiving Day and its Origin?

Wrapping it up


The origin of Thanksgiving is truly fascinating. The story is one of great entrepreneurial spirit, economic recovery, and feasting. It became an official holiday in the USA after the consistent efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale.

In the present day, Americans celebrate the festival with a lot of enthusiasm. The day presents the perfect opportunity to express gratitude and enjoy delicious food.

Every family celebrates the festival in their own unique ways. From playing a game of Scrabble to watching football or movies, family Thanksgiving traditions make the occasion so special.

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