festivals and traditions

Thanksgiving

Turkey dinner, turkey dinner,
Gather round, gather round,
Who will get the drumstick’
Yummy, yummy drumstick.
All sit down, all sit down.

Hi guys!
Do you know why American guys won’t go to school on Thursday this week? Well, I think that many of you have guessed right…it’s Thanksgiving day! Many countries have a thanksgiving day: a religious holiday to give thanks to God at the end of the harvest season.

In Canada, it is celebrated on 2nd Monday in October while in the USA  Thanksgiving is on 4th Thursday in November and it’s a very important American holiday, indeed schools, offices and business are all closed for the day.

One of the most important things of this day is “Thanksgiving dinner” that people eat with their families, so many people travel to be with their relatives on that day. The dishes are usually the food that Native Americans gave to the pilgrims; the main course is a poor turkey (did you know that about one-third of all turkey consumption occurs on Thanksgiving?), in fact this holiday is called “Turkey day”, too. Turkeys are usually stuffed with a bread-based stuffing, roasted and seasoned with sage, chopped celery, carrots, and onions.

The custom of eating this bird is linked to Native Americans: they probably gave the pilgrims duck or goose meat, so the choice of turkey means only that at the beginning the New Americans ate bird meat. Other traditional dishes are cranberry sauce, gravy, winter squash (similar to pumpkin), rice, dumplings, eggs, beans, cornbread, peas, carrots, bread rolls. Apple pie, sweet potatoes pie, pumpkin pie are typically served for dessert.

In short, this meal is a bit like our “Christmas dinner”, when we start eating at midday and we finish in the evening!

Other recent traditions at Thanksgiving are football matches that people watch on television after the meal. Games played on Turkey Day are usually called Turkey day game or Turkey bowl.

Follow this link to a webpage with videos about the history of Thanksgiving Day football games.

One more thing. Another “holiday” linked to Thanksgiving Day is Black Friday. It’s so called because of heavy shopping traffic on that day: it’s considered to be the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

So this is the “official” beginning of Christmas period!

Do you know about other holidays similar to Thanksgiving?

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One thought on “Thanksgiving

  1. Well, on 11th November we celebrate Saint Martin’s Day, which is similar to Thanksgiving Day because it is celebrated in the same period and it is linked with the harvest season particularly for the new wine, that matures in this period, and chestnuts. We have the description of this feast in the poem “San Martino” by Carducci that children learn by heart at school. Also this tradition is linked to a legend that talks about Saint Martin that gave half of his cloak to a poor man on a rainy and windy day…

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