Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated in the USA on the fourth Thursday in November, when families come together to spend time with each other, and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner. This year, Thanksgiving falls on Thursday 24th November.
The centrepiece of a Thanksgiving meal will almost always be Turkey, accompanied by various side dishes, usually including mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and stuffing – followed by pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving is a celebration which goes back to the time of the Pilgrim Fathers, the original European settlers who landed on the East coast of the USA in the 1600s. They were very religious and regularly had periods of giving thanks to God, sometimes for a successful harvest, or a victory in battle, and these celebrations involved several days of praying and feasting. However, they celebrated the harvest festival every autumn and the annual celebration was started.
Thanksgiving was officially recognised by President George Washington when he made a proclamation in 1789 that every 26th of November should be devoted to giving thanks to God for the peaceful country that the United States had become.
This new custom was adopted slightly differently across the country, and various states would celebrate their Thanksgiving on different days, to fit in with local customs and holidays.
In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln passed a further law which confirmed the last Thursday in November as a national day.
“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
And since then Thanksgiving has been an official American holiday.
Although in the UK we celebrate harvest festival to a certain extent in schools and churches, it has never caught on as a major holiday in the way that Thanksgiving has in the USA.
However, if you’re an American overseas, you can still celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK. Our free-range turkeys are now in stock and can be delivered to your door on the 24th, or maybe the day before so you have time to prepare it for the big day.
The part of Thanksgiving that has caught on in the UK is the day that follows – Black Friday! The day after Thanksgiving most US retailers offer large reductions in a major sale that kicks off the Christmas shopping season. Here at Keevils we like to get in on the fun, so keep an eye out next Friday when we will have very special one-day-only offers with big discounts.
To order your Turkey for Thanksgiving please click here to take a look at our Free-Range Turkeys.
10th November 2016