Festivities, sumptuous dishes, family time, celebrations and a long weekend holiday – Thanksgiving marks the beginning of our holiday season. Have you ever wondered how it all began and why it became such a significant day in American culture? Celebrated throughout the USA on last Thursday of November, this joyous festival has a long story behind it being a holiday that it is. Let us go back in time and find out the series of events that led to making Thanksgiving such a huge celebration
First Thanksgiving was held in the year 1621 at Plymouth Plantation to celebrate a successful growing season. People from ‘Wampanoag Tribe’ taught the settlers or the Pilgrims to grow corn and to hunt. So, after the first successful harvest of the pilgrims in the New World, a 3-day Thanksgiving feast was organized to express thanks to the Almighty for his blessings.
Post 1621, different years witnessed different proclamations by different authorities. The first Thanksgiving Proclamation was in the year 1777 by Continental Congress during the American Revolutionary War where eighteenth day of December was the day reserved to thank the Lord for his grace and blessings. Afterwards, first president of the USA, George Washington, announced a Thanksgiving proclamation marking 26th November as the Thanksgiving Day, a day to acknowledge sincere thanks to the Lord for his blessings. Then again in 1795 Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving, a tradition which was followed by his successors, as well.
Though there were many proclamations for this day but nothing concrete could come out of it. In 1863 with efforts of renowned writer Sarah Josepha Hale, who succeeded in convincing Lincoln to announce Thanksgiving as a National Holiday, the president declared the last Thursday of November to be celebrated as Thanksgiving Day every year.
This is how the day of all the fun, frolic, festivity and feasts became an integral part of American culture. From 1863 till date, it is celebrated all over the USA and in some parts of the world, with great enthusiasm and excitement.