What is Thanksgiving?

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Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in November to be thankful for the harvest, when food planted in preparation for winter has been picked and gathered. Most fruits and veggies grow best during spring, summer, and fall. Since very few foods grow in the cold, having enough food to last all winter used to rely on collecting and storing a big batch of fruits and vegetables at the end of autumn. A really big harvest of foods was (and still is!) something to be thankful for, so a celebration was created!

The “first Thanksgiving” is usually thought of as the special meal shared a few hundred years ago (1621) between the Native Americans and their new European neighbors, who’d recently come to Plymouth Rock. The Native Americans had helped the European “Pilgrims” learn how to successfully plant food in preparation for winter. The Pilgrims’ first winter in America had been difficult, but with a better harvest, that year looked more hopeful and so they celebrated with a Thanksgiving Meal!

Although the holiday has changed greatly since the “first” Thanksgiving, we still celebrate today with a bountiful meal at which we give thanks for all we have!

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    Even though we usually think of the “first Thanksgiving” as the particular meal held in the fall of 1621, both Native Americans and European settlers had both held Thanksgiving-like observances prior to then.

  • Exploration



    Turkey Day!



    There are lots of foods that are tradition to eat at Thanksgiving, such as turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and more!
    Many of these dishes became popular at Thanksgiving because they use the foods which are ripe and ready to eat during the fall! Because Thanksgiving is a holiday originally created to give thanks for food crops, it makes sense that we would want to eat foods that are in season!
    Find out if there are any Farmer’s Markets where you live, and see if you can take a trip to one a week or two before Thanksgiving. What kinds of local produce is fresh and in-season at the market? How many of them are items which tend to appear on your Thanksgiving menu? If you can, talk to the farmers and ask them about why these crops grow so well at this time of year! 
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