Thanksgiving is a traditional American holiday celebrated every fourth Thursday of November. This holiday originated from the Puritan migrants. In 1620, more than 100 Puritans boarded the Mayflower to come to America in search of religious freedom. Their first year of settlement was dreadful. Many of them died due to the cold winter and diseases. However, in the following year, they overcame the harsh situation and succeeded with their first harvest in the new continent. To commemorate the successful harvest in 1621, they gathered around the table and gave thanks to God. This is where and how Thanksgiving Day celebration started.
Thanksgiving in America is very similar to the Chuseok in Korea or the Mid-Autumn Festival in China. People gather with family members whom they haven’t seen for a while. They have fun together and spend cozy time at home. What makes Thanksgiving special are giving thanks and eating turkey.
Showing thankfulness to each other is the main purpose of Thanksgiving in America. Amy Turner, Head Chaplin of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, said, “There is no way that I can count how many people I’m thankful to,” with smile on her face. Saying thank you to other people is an easy job, and it can greatly impress them.
Another factor that makes Thanksgiving unique is eating turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. According to the National Turkey Federation, 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving. This tradition of eating turkey started from New England, and later, moved to North America in 1900s. People cook the turkey in the oven to roast or deep fry in oil. It is usually served as centerpiece of the dinner table.
During Thanksgiving, some people are away from their houses and take a vacation. Beverly Wheeler, a resident in Melbourne, Florida, said, “Our family tradition for Thanksgiving is going to Saint Augustine to relax and have a great Thanksgiving dinner.” Saint Augustine was founded in 1565 and is known as the oldest town in the United States of America. There are many old houses and an old castle right next to the ocean water. She said she has six grandchildren, and going to Saint Augustine with them makes great memories for herself and for them.
Thanksgiving is not just a holiday, but also a day of sharing. Around Thanksgiving Day, many organizations or people help needy families have a good Thanksgiving. Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, a private school in Melbourne, Florida, continues with their 30-year old Thanksgiving basket tradition. Thanksgiving basket is a basket full of necessities for a family to celebrate Thanksgiving such as silverwares, canned beans, potatoes, turkey and others. This year, the students and faculties of Holy Trinity made 40 boxes, and handed them over to DOCK, the Dorcas Outreach Center for Kids. DOCK, then, distributed the boxes to some local needy families. Trevor Howard, director of DOCK gave a speech at the school. He shared his own story as a youth. He said that he never had a Thanksgiving dinner with his family until he was 28 years old because his family couldn’t afford any Thanksgiving food. He emphasized that these baskets can make the families’ Thanksgiving much better.
Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays in the United States of America. It can be the warmest holiday, too, because of people’s intentions to share and be nice to others.
Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy
Myeongjun Choi email@example.com
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