It’s Thanksgiving Today
Thanksgiving is a Public Holiday celebrated on Fourth Thursday of November, in United States as Harvest Festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, after Congress requested a proclamation by George Washington.
The poor are often provided with food at Thanksgiving time. Most communities have annual food drives that collect non-perishable packaged and canned foods, and corporations sponsor charitable distributions of staple foods and Thanksgiving dinners. The Salvation Army enlists volunteers to serve Thanksgiving dinners to hundreds of people in different locales. Additionally, pegged to be five days after Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday, a celebration of charitable giving.
In the United States, certain kinds of food are traditionally served at Thanksgiving meals. Turkey, usually roasted and stuffed (but sometimes deep-fried instead), is typically the featured item on any Thanksgiving feast table, so much so that Thanksgiving is colloquially known as “Turkey Day.” In fact, 45 million turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving Day alone in 2015. With 85 percent of Americans partaking in the meal, that’s an estimated 276 million Americans dining on the festive poultry, spending an expected $1.05 billion on turkeys for Thanksgiving in 2016.
Mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, various fall vegetables, squash, brussels sprouts and pumpkin pie are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner. Green bean casserole was introduced in 1955 and remains a favorite. All of these are actually native to the Americas or were introduced as a new food source to the Europeans when they arrived. Turkey may be an exception
Since 1924, in New York City, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is held annually every Thanksgiving Day from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square, and televised nationally by NBC. The parade features parade floats with specific themes, scenes from Broadway plays, large balloons of cartoon characters, TV personalities, and high school marching bands. The float that traditionally ends the Macy’s Parade is the Santa Claus float, the arrival of which is an unofficial sign of the beginning of the Christmas season. It is billed as the world’s largest parade.
The oldest Thanksgiving Day parade is the 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade, which launched in 1920 and takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia’s parade was long associated with Gimbels, a prominent Macy’s rival, until that store closed in 1986. Its current sponsors are WPVI-TV, the channel 6 ABC affiliate in Philadelphia; and Dunkin’ Donuts, the donut chain.
American football is an important part of many Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States, a tradition that dates to the earliest era of the sport in the late 19th century.
College basketball holds several elimination tournaments on over Thanksgiving weekend, before the conference season.
The world championship pumpkin chunking contest was held in early November in Delaware and televised each Thanksgiving on Science Channel.
Professional wrestling promotions have typically held premier pay-per-view events on or around the time of Thanksgiving.
The Turkey Trot is a road running event held in numerous cities on Thanksgiving morning.
Days after Thanksgiving
The day after Thanksgiving is a day off for some companies and most schools, particularly those that remain open on Columbus Day. It is known as Black Friday and has historically been known as a day for chaotic, early-morning sales at major retailers that were historically closed on Thanksgiving; those who oppose the consumerist nature of the day can instead participate in Buy Nothing Day. The day after Thanksgiving is also Native American Heritage Day, a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.
Small Business Saturday, a movement promoting shopping at smaller local establishments, takes place on the last Saturday in November, two days after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is a nickname given to the Monday following Thanksgiving; the day evolved in the early days of the Internet, when consumers returning to work took advantage of their employers’ broadband Internet connections to do online shopping and retailers began offering sales to meet the demand. Giving Tuesday takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.