Why Do Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving?
Why do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving? Perhaps the reason is to honor the Native Americans who helped the Pilgrims emigrate to America. Perhaps it is an expression of gratitude for the bounty of the land and their assistance. Whatever the reason, Americans know that gratitude is a healthy state of mind. Perhaps, this holiday also has something to do with football. Regardless of the reasons for celebrating, the holiday is a great day for family, friends, and football.
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Native Americans helped the Pilgrims
In 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in New England. The Pilgrims were so happy about their harvest that they surprised the local Indian tribe, the Wampanoag Nation. The Indians went to investigate the celebration and were surprised when the Pilgrims fired a gun. The first Thanksgiving was marked by tension and mistrust. But despite the tension, the Pilgrims continued to celebrate thanksgiving.
It is a celebration of the harvest
Thanksgiving is a fall festival in the United States and throughout the Northern Hemisphere. This holiday honors the bounty of the harvest, and is a time for family and community to give thanks. Traditionally, the feast includes turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, cranberry sauce, and corn or sweet potatoes. While some families and cultures celebrate the holiday in different ways, most feasts are focused on the harvest. Traditionally, the Thanksgiving turkey symbolizes the bounty of the harvest.
It is an expression of gratitude
Most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving as an expression of gratitude. Extended families gather together to share a meal and play games. Some watch football games on television. And others may choose to have a Thanksgiving feast. The traditional meal will likely feature turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and corn. Regardless of religious affiliation, Thanksgiving is an important day for Americans to give thanks. The day also encourages reflection on the blessings in our lives.
It is a football holiday
Football and Thanksgiving go hand in hand, so much so that Americans began to view the sport as an integral part of the holiday. The NFL even went so far as to create a parade float that celebrated football as Americana. Though the game first took root in the late nineteenth century, it quickly became an age-old tradition that Americans now celebrate every year. Football and Thanksgiving have become a cultural exercise that transcends tradition.
It is a family holiday
Many people in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving because it is a family holiday. The holiday is a traditional one, usually celebrated at home with a substantial feast. The day is the anchor of a four-day holiday weekend. Families gather together to express gratitude for a bounty of food. Thanksgiving has become one of the most widely observed secular holidays in the U.S. and is also a time for family reunions.
It is a sporting event
Football and Thanksgiving go together like a pair of twins; this relationship began in the 19th century when President Abraham Lincoln declared the holiday a national holiday. Within a few years, people began scheduling football games on the holiday. Yale and Princeton played the first major football game on Thanksgiving in 1876. Back then, the sport was still in its infancy and was struggling to establish itself as a separate sport from rugby. As a result, the fourth Thursday in November became the usual date for the Intercollegiate Football Association championship game.