What is Thanksgiving and where is the best place to celebrate it?

If you live in the US, or are lucky enough to be in the US over this All-American holiday, make sure you save your appetite because this day is all about food.

The origin of Thanksgiving brings us back to 1621 when the settlers of Plymouth, Massachusetts, sat down with the Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans and shared a feast in order to celebrate their autumn harvest. The two groups gathered to celebrate the bounty of their crops and so it follows that when the modern American family sits down for a Thanksgiving meal they keep the tradition of giving Thanks. Thanksgiving is a holiday for all families, regardless of religion, color and creed.

Thanksgiving became an official national holiday in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th President, thought it would bring the nation closer together amidst the Civil War. In 1941 President Roosevelt decided that the holiday should be on a Thursday in November and ever since then it has been the sign that the Holiday Season has begun. Most businesses and all schools are closed for Thanksgiving and the following day. Black Friday, as the day after Thanksgiving has been coined, is the busiest shopping day of the whole year in the United States.

There are specific food traditions for the Thanksgiving Day dinner which does not really replicate the original Thanksgiving Day meal in 1621. In 1621 the Plymouth settlers did make fowl, but no one really knows if it was specifically turkey. In modern day America, hands down there will be turkey on nearly every family’s dinner table. Sides will most likely be mashed potatoes, corn, and pumpkin pie to follow.

If you are lucky enough to be in the U.S. during Thanksgiving, try to get invited for a home cooked dinner. But if you can’t, being in New York will rival anywhere in the States, as there is a massive parade down 5th Avenue that includes major celebrities, marching bands and giant floats. Restaurants will still be open and they will even offer their own version of a Thanksgiving Day dinner. Tuck in!

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