Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day in the US and UK

Thanksgiving Day in the United States is a holiday on the fourth Thursday of November. It precedes Black Friday. Most government offices, businesses, schools and other organizations are closed on Thanksgiving Day. Many offices and businesses allow staff to have a four-day weekend so these offices and businesses are also closed on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Public transit systems do not usually operate on their regular timetables. Thanksgiving Day is one of the busiest periods for travel in the USA. This can cause congestion and overcrowding. Seasonal parades and busy football games can cause disruption to local traffic.
There are claims that the first Thanksgiving Day was held in the city of El Paso, Texas in 1598. Another early event was held in 1619 in the Virginia Colony. Many people trace the origins of the modern Thanksgiving Day to the harvest celebration that the Pilgrims held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. However, their first true thanksgiving was in 1623, when they gave thanks for rain that ended a drought. These early thanksgivings took the form of a special church service, rather than a feast. In the second half of the 1600s, thanksgivings after the harvest became more common and started to become annual events. It was celebrated on different days in different communities and in some places there were more than one thanksgiving each year. George Washington, the first president of the United States, proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day in 1789.

Source: (abridged)

Thanksgiving Day Macy's Parade, NY City - photo credit: asterix611 via photopin cc
Across the Atlantic Ocean Thanksgiving is also celebrated in London with American food and fun! Also known as Turkey Day in London, the American holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, as well. In Britain, while it's not an official holiday, lots of American expats and tourists, their friends and relatives, like to mark the occasion by coming together to eat a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Festive food for Thanksgiving includes turkey, pumpkin pie, chowder and anything with an American theme. Thanksgiving menus are available on the day from lots of London hotels, pubs, clubs and restaurants. For more information about Thanksgiving events in London, just follow this LINK.

Pumpkin pie official visitor guide

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