Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Thanksgiving Day

     
Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November. Children do not go to school and most business close for four days. People in Canada also celebrate Thanksgiving, but on the second Monday of October. Most American and Canadian families have a Thanksgiving Day dinner with their family. They haveand autumn vegetables, and then pumpkin.

This tradition started hundreds of years ago.

In September 1620, a group of English people called the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from England across the Atlantic Ocean, in a  called Mayflower, to Cape Cod in North America. They went away from England because of their religion and because they wanted land for their families. They wanted to grow food for themselves- not for other people.

The pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic Ocean for sixty-six dangerous days. When they arrived, they called their new home New England, but they were not the first people to live there. The Indians were the first. Sometimes the Pilgrims fought with the Indians but they also learned a lot from them. The Indians showed them how to live from their new land, how to grow and cook new kinds  of, how to hunt and fish…

 

The first winter was difficult. Many of the Pilgrims died because it was very cold and they had little food. In the spring they started to grow food, helped by some friendly Indians, and in the autumn of 1621 they celebrated their first harvest. The pilgrims wanted to give thanks, not only of the harvest, but for their new home, new life and new friends, so they celebrated it with a dinner. This was the first Thanksgiving dinner.


                                                          




CLEMEN, Gina D.B. "British and American Festivities", Black Cat Publishing, 2004.
MAGUIRE, Jackie. "Seasons and Celebrations", Oxford University Press, 1997. 



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