Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday celebrated in many different countries. Widely celebrated in Canada and the United States, Thanksgiving takes different forms and traditions in other places. Thanksgiving began as a day of celebrating the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.
In the United States, they celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated nationally since 1789, after Congress requested a proclamation by George Washington, but was sometimes not celebrated. Yet, since 1863, it has been a federal holiday. Along with Christmas and the New Year holidays, Thanksgiving is a part of the fall/winter holiday in the United States. The Pilgrims celebrated the “First Thanksgiving” for three days in October 1621 after their harvest. Schools and colleges take four to five days of holidays and most business workers are given Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays. Traditional fare of the Thanksgiving meal includes turkey, bread stuffing, mash potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. The turkey is served as a central, traditional meal, usually roasted and stuffed.
I interviewed my friend, Hansi, who lives in Shanghai, China about her family’s thanksgiving.
Question: Who did you spend your Thanksgiving with and where were you at? Can you talk about how you celebrate Thanksgiving in your family?
Answer: Actually, there is a Mid-Autumn Festival, a Moon Festival, known as a “Chinese Thanksgiving” on fifth day of May for Chinese lunar calendar. Most of my friends celebrated the Chinese Thanksgiving, but since my family live in the United States, our family celebrated the Thanksgiving along with people from the United States. During the Thanksgiving holiday, I was with my entire family. Our whole family gathered in one place, at my grandfather’s house. Then, we had a big feast. I especially liked the turkey and the pumpkin pie.
[ A photo of Thanksgiving meal from Hansi’s family and a photo of her behind the turkey ]
Since most families enjoy the same or very similar Thanksgiving meals every year, people are familiar with the typical Thanksgiving dishes. Yet, there are some interesting facts that people do not know about the food that they are having. For example, a pumpkin pie which is a dessert made of pumpkins, share a same ancestor with watermelons. They are both part of the cucurbitaceae plant family. Next, the reason why people feel a little drowsy is due to the tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey. Moreover, it is from overeating carbohydrate rich sides like potatoes and stuffing. Some fun facts are that approximately 280 million turkeys were sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations this year and the Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.
Furthermore, parades, sports, radios, and television are commonly associated for a bigger celebration and there is a Black Friday, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, where it is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. Lastly, near Thanksgiving, most communities have annual food drives and donations to collect non-perishable packaged and canned foods for the people in need. Overall, Thanksgiving is a warm, friendly day to appreciate the harvest and the past year with families and friends.
Jin Chey 최진
Indian Mountain School
Jin Chey 최진 email@example.com
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