Thanksgiving is called the day that is traditionally dedicated to express our gratitude to God.
As such, it is an annual celebration, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and the second Monday of October in Canada. Its original name in English is Thanksgiving Day, and in French Jour de l’Action de grâce.
In this sense, it is a celebration practiced mainly in Anglo-Saxon countries in North America, although it has spread to Latin American nations, such as Puerto Rico, where there is a strong American influence. Although it is a celebration of Christian origin, today it is considered a secularized holiday.
Thanksgiving, as such, is to gather family and friends to share a feast. The typical main course is turkey, roasted or baked.
According to the story, Thanksgiving Day is a fusion of the harvest festivities, celebrated by European settlers, and the end of harvest celebrations that North American aborigines also held.
It is said that its origin dates back to 1621, in the Plymouth colony, when the colonists, after spending a winter of full hardships and deprivations, were helped by the natives, who took pity on their situation and offered them help in the work of cultivation, hunting and fishing in the following spring.
So, in the fall of the same year, the settlers offered a feast of thanks for the good harvest, to which they invited the natives.
It was President Abraham Lincoln who decreed the last Thursday of November as a national holiday for the celebration of Thanksgiving. However, in 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt redefined the date, placing it on the fourth Thursday of November.
Traditionally, also, the Thanksgiving celebration precedes the opening of the Christmas shopping season, known as “Black Friday” or Black Friday.