Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. While therewas an underlying religious element in the original celebration, Thanksgiving today is primarily identified as a secular holiday. In the United States, it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday ofNovember.
Thanksgiving in North America had originated from a mix of European and Native traditions. Typically in Europe, festivals were held before and after the harvest cycles to givethanks to God for a good harvest, to rejoice together after much hard work with the rest of the community. At the time, Native Americans had also celebrated the end of a harvest season. When Europeansfirst arrived to the Americas, they brought with them their own harvest festival traditions from Europe, celebrating their safe voyage, peace and good harvest.
In the United States
In the UnitedStates, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. There is also evidence for an earlier harvest celebration on thecontinent by Spanish explorers in Florida during 1565, as well as thanksgiving feasts in the Virginia Colony. The initial thanksgiving observance at Virginia in 1619 was prompted by the colonists' leadersto give thanks to God on the anniversary of the settlement. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving to God was prompted by a good harvest. In later years, the tradition was continued by civil leaderssuch as Governor Bradford who planned a thanksgiving celebration in 1623. a fast, While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the WampanoagNative Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this however, did not become a regular affair in New England...