Thanksgiving USA

It is the fourth Thursday of November, which means that it is Thanksgiving in the USA. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.

Cartoon of turkey driving a car

“A Thanksgiving Tour” 1907. By Winterhalder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by pilgrims from the Old World in 1621. Abraham Lincoln decided that it should be an annual event in 1863. It stems from the harvest festivals celebrated throughout Europe before the Mayflower even set off for the New World. It is time when people get together with their families, eat turkey and watch football according to Wikipedia. The following Tuesday has been designated “Giving Tuesday” as an antidote to the perceived consumption and consumerism of Thanksgiving and the shopping spree madness of “Black Friday”. You can find out more about “Giving Tuesday” at their website here.

Painting of Thanksgiving scene

“Home to Thanksgiving” 1867. By George Henry Durry [Library of Congress], via Wikimedia Commons

This year the unseasonably early heavy snowfall affecting much of the USA, but particularly the east is predicted to cause traffic chaos. Stay safe folks. Sadly this is also the day when the most household cooking fires break out, there are safe cooking tips and advice about fires here.

The popular Christmas song, “Jingle Bells” was actually written for Thanksgiving by James Lord Pierpont, copyrighted inΒ  1857. Here is the less well known second verse, in which the narrator fooling around with a young lady seems to cause the horse to take fright and overturn the sleigh, a salutary lesson:

A day or two ago
I thought I’d take a ride
And soon, Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot.

Painting of horses pulling a sleigh

“Winterlandschaft mit Pferdeschlitten im Vordergrund” 1894. By Remigius Adrianus Haanen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If you wish to know about the Canadian version of Thanksgiving you can check out my post here.


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