What is Thanksgiving?

Next week is Thanksgiving, and we all get a break from school. For most people this means getting together with family and eating turkey. But how did this holiday start, and why is it siginificant?

 

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In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

It all started in 1620 when a small ship called the mayflower left England to reach the great promises of the new world. After a rough journey they arrived near cape cod, and after one month established a village known as Plymouth. However they found that there were already people living in the area, the Wampanoag Indians. In 1621 the pilgrims of Plymouth and the Wampanoag Native Americans gathered together to celebrate an autumn harvest. They were thankful for a good harvest and good relations.

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The tradition was kept up by some colonies and states. Finally in 1863, in their heat of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln declared that a national day of Thanksgiving should be held each November. Now we’re here about to celebrate it next weeks, the spirit of Thanksgiving still alive. Click here to watch a short video about Thanksgiving made by the History Channel.

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