Tag Archives: Tradition

The Origins and Traditions of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a venerable and much-beloved American holiday. In colonial times it was primarily a harvest holiday, in which the colonists offered thanks for a good harvest, sometimes by feasting, sometimes by fasting. A holiday was already celebrated in the Spanish colony of Florida in the 16th century, and in the British colonies of Virginia and Massachusetts in the 17th century, most famously in 1621, when the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts celebrated their first successful harvest in the company of some of the Native American tribesmen. Thanksgiving became a regularly celebrated national holiday only during the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of national Thanksgiving in 1863. The holiday became fixed to the fourth Thursday in November by an act of the United States Congress in 1941...

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