Thanksgiving Day

This federal holiday is celebrated every 4th Thursday of November each year.


The First Thanksgiving painting, 1621.

Celebrated on the Fourth Thursday of November every year in the United States of America, Thanksgiving Day is a public holiday and considered a very special day when a Thanksgiving turkey is placed inside the oven in most homes in expectation of the very much looked forward to Thanksgiving Dinner which would bring many relatives, close friends and others to share in the festivities and the joys of the day.

The event originated as a harvesting festival which was to give Thanks for a bountiful harvest that would have been just concluded which is still the case in some agricultural areas of the United States of America.

It has been a national event and has been celebrated infrequently since 1789 as a precursor to a proclamation by the first President of the United States George Washington.

In 1863 during the American Civil War President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National holiday on the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day and “to give praise and blessings to our Father the Lord above who dwelleth in the Heavens” and since then the day has been celebrated all over the United States.

In October 1621 the “first Thanksgiving was celebrated with a few native Americans and a few pilgrims who had celebrated the feast which had lasted for three days and it is thought that this was the origin to what is being celebrated today with much joy and fun by all Americans.

Thanksgiving is a European practice and is known to have been first initiated by the Spaniards and the French around the 16th century which has been documented to be an age old tradition even in other communities who were in the habit of giving thanks for all that has been provided to them during the year by way of bountiful harvests and the opportunity to have food on the table.

It is also known that when the first permanent settlement at Jamestown, Virginia congregated it was completed with a Thanksgiving to thank the Lord for the opportunity to land in those fertile lands but later due to constant conflicts and the Indian massacre of 1622 the site was shifted to more secure locations.

Hence it is recorded that the history of Thanksgiving Day dates back centuries and has a very long tradition not limited to one group of European settlers but to most of who came across the Atlantic to make their home in the New World.

Specifically, the practice of Thanksgiving could be safely reverted back to about the early 1600’s and it has been an event in a particular day where different American communities especially those who arrived from Europe looked up to the Heavens as way of offering their Thanks to the One above for all what has been provided to them and even today it is the same initiative that is being conducted but in a more grandeur style in keeping with the times and the rich mixture of American culture which is prevalent in the United States of America in the present times.

Federal Holidays of the USA by Year