Whilst everywhere homes are beginning to get ready for Christmas, in the USA there is one very important holiday beforehand, Thanksgiving. It is celebrated on the last Thursday of November, and this year it is on the 23rd. The traditional story behind Thanksgiving is that when the first settlers came to America in 1620 they suffered a terrible winter, finding the climate difficult and struggling to produce food. The following Spring, the local Native American tribe helped the settlers to grow food, and in November they celebrated their success by sharing a huge banquet together – the first ‘Thanksgiving’. Since then this meal has become an American tradition, with people travelling all over the country to be together. It’s a day to spend with your family and friends, to share food and give thanks. The key ingredient is the whole roast turkey with gravy, and other traditional dishes are mashed potato, green bean casserole, stuffing, corn on the cob, sweet potato and bread rolls. For dessert they typically eat pumpkin or pecan pie with cream. There are also special Thanksgiving football games and a famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City (Macy’s is a huge department store). Another funny tradition is that the current president usually does a ceremony to pardon one turkey, saying that this turkey will not be eaten that year. The day after Thanksgiving is also becoming famous, ‘Black Friday’. All of the shops have big sales and discounts, and people can be seen to go crazy whilst they fight over the best deals. The name comes from the economic term of being in the ‘black’, which means you are financially doing well.
Click here to see a video of the traditional Thanksgiving story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faUYJ9fMiGg
And here to see a video of when President Obama pardoned a turkey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU97nISuwRM