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American Traditions: How to Celebrate Thanksgiving

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Often we go abroad in the midst of festivities. You can have fun, get acquainted with other people's customs, make colorful photos. Do you know that some holidays are more than just dates? For example, Thanksgiving Day in USA. Americans value him even more than Christmas. If your friends or émigré relatives called you on Thanksgiving, set aside your business and come. But first, find out what kind of holiday it is and what to give to the owners?

A bit of history

The first colonists sailed to the USA in 1620. The new homeland met them awkwardly. Winter was unusually harsh, they did not know how to hunt, crops perished, children died from hunger and disease. Native American tribes came to the rescue. They taught new neighbors to get game, cultivate the land, grow pumpkin and corn. After the first harvest, the settlers made a feast to thank God for their salvation. They also invited Indian friends.

When America became independent, President George Washington made Thanksgiving a public holiday. Since then Americans every year thank the Lord and each other for happiness, care and prosperity. Celebrate it on the fourth Thursday of November.

How is Thanksgiving celebrated?

First of all, this family celebration. Parents, children and grandchildren gather at the table and spend together all day. Neighbors and friends may come if they are close to the family.

The tables show off dishes that the settlers ate in 1620. These are pumpkin pie, boiled or fried corn, chestnuts, oranges and nuts

The main decoration of the festival is roast turkey with maple syrup. It was the most affordable game in American forests, it was she who decorated the feast of the first Americans. Since then, Thanksgiving is inconceivable without this bird. Every fall, farmers send a specially fed turkey to the White House for the presidential table.

Pious people go to church. If you are invited to the service, do not offend with refusal. This is an important ritual for them, sharing it is a great honor.

Thanksgiving Greeting Card

If you go to New York visit the parade, which annually hosts Macy’s department store. A motley crowd moves through the streets, music plays. Participants in the procession carry inflatable figures of cartoon characters and a giant turkey in a colonist hat. In terms of color, the parade surpasses only the Brazilian carnival.

On holiday arrange free meals for the unemployeddonate money to charity. People become one, one nation. And, therefore, no one should be deprived.

Thanksgiving is also celebrated in Canada. Traditions are about the same, but celebrated on the second Tuesday of October. Do not forget if you decide to please your friends with your visit.

Thanksgiving Gift

In the old days, people just came to visit with food for the festive table. You can also please your loved ones with pumpkin pie, homemade cookies, boiled corn, pecans. And if you want to present something special? Here are some ideas to help you:

  1. Goodies: chocolate sets, fruit baskets, spices, honey. Thanksgiving edible gifts are sold in supermarkets. You will recognize them by the inscriptions: grateful, thankful (thankful), thank you (thank you). Or you can just buy good wine, grapes, chocolate and ask the seller to pack them beautifully.
  2. Baskets with red and orange flowers. These shades remind of autumn, gardening and a rich harvest. The best option is marigolds, nasturtiums, chrysanthemums and sunflowers. Decorate the basket with autumn leaves, cones, evergreens.
  3. Postcards with the image of the first settlers, turkeys, pumpkins and cornucopia. You can make them by hand if you master scrapbooking.
  4. Wreath of autumn flowers at the door. You can decorate it with corncobs, artificial pumpkins. A beautiful and bright wish for prosperity!
  5. Aroma candles in the form of leaves or corn. It is better if they are yellow, green or red - the color of the leaves.
  6. Sweatshirts (winter is coming!) with holiday symbols. However, ordinary elegant clothes will do.
  7. Thanksgiving is given and household utensils. Spoons, hot coasters, kitchen shovels, cake tins, mugs and plates. It is better that they have a holiday symbol (turkey, vegetables) or a thank you note.
  8. Any souvenirs do it yourself. Here you can not limit your imagination: knitted pumpkins, ceramic turkeys, figurines of Indians and colonists, hand-carved spoons.
  9. Jewelry with the symbols of the holiday: earrings in the form of pieces of cake or turkey, pendants in the form of an ears, rings with the inscription harvest (harvest).

Thanksgiving Gift

Thanksgiving Story

As we recall from the lessons of history, the first settlers from England arrived on the shores of America in 1620. They landed on the continent in November and founded a colony. But the first winter was harsh to new residents, many of them died. The following year, local Indians taught these white people how to properly grow crops on new land. When the time came to harvest, the first governor of the colonists proposed spending the day giving thanks to the Lord. Of course, the Indians, who so helped the immigrants, were invited to this holiday. This day was the first Thanksgiving celebration.

After gaining independence from England, the country's first president George Washington invited to celebrate Thanksgiving every year on November 26th. Over time, this holiday was assigned its own day - the last Thursday of November. On this subject, the US Congress even passed the bill in 1941. And so, over time, Thanksgiving has become one of the biggest US holidays. This year he falls on November 26th.

Thanksgiving Celebration

Thanksgiving today is one of the three most important US holidays (the other two are Christmas and Independence Day, which is celebrated on July 4). Therefore, it is not at all surprising that he is celebrated on a special scale. The whole country is dying out: shops and all government agencies are closing for this holiday. Many Americans get a day off the day after the holiday.

Religious people must attend church. Less religious people stay at home, watch the parade and cook special American food. There must be a turkey on the table. This is Thanksgiving main course. By the way, turkey is served not just like that, but with cranberry sauce. Each family often has its own secret recipe for such a sauce. According to American tradition, you can find mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, green beans on the table.

Thanksgiving, an average American eats about 4000 calories. As we recall, 2000 calories is more than enough for a person per day. So it is not surprising that after such an amount of food, people hardly move and seem to fall into a kind of coma due to overeating. Americans call this condition “Food coma”. By the way, a rather large number of Thanksgiving jokes is devoted to this topic.

All day, Americans remember what they are grateful for this year. So do not be surprised if you find long lists on the pages of your foreign friends on social networks that day telling who they are grateful for and why.

Useful words in English

Colonist - colonist, settler
American Indian - American Indian
Thanksgiving Day - Thanksgiving
Harvest - Harvest
Feast - feast, holiday
Meal - eating, eating
Thursday - thursday
Tradition - tradition
To celebrate - celebrate

Thanksgiving Celebration

Thanksgiving today is one of the three most important US holidays (the other two are Christmas and Independence Day, which is celebrated on July 4). Therefore, it is not at all surprising that he is celebrated on a special scale. The whole country is dying out: shops and all government agencies are closing for this holiday. Many Americans get a day off the day after the holiday.

Religious people must attend church. Less religious people stay at home, watch the parade and cook special American food. There must be a turkey on the table. This is Thanksgiving main course. By the way, turkey is served not just like that, but with cranberry sauce. Each family often has its own secret recipe for such a sauce. According to American tradition, you can find mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, green beans on the table.

Thanksgiving, an average American eats about 4000 calories. As we recall, 2000 calories is more than enough for a person per day. So it is not surprising that after such an amount of food, people hardly move and seem to fall into a kind of coma due to overeating. Americans call this condition “Food coma”. By the way, a rather large number of Thanksgiving jokes is devoted to this topic.

All day, Americans remember what they are grateful for this year. So do not be surprised if you find long lists on the pages of your foreign friends on social networks that day telling who they are grateful for and why.

Useful words in English

Sauce - Sauce
Cranberry sauce - cranberry sauce
Stuffing - Turkey Filling
Turkey - Turkey
Gravy - Gravy
Dinner - dinner
Pumpkin pie - pumpkin pie
Leftovers - leftover food
To carve - cut turkey

Thanksgiving Traditions

Like any holiday, Thanksgiving has its own traditions that are unique to it.

  • On this day throughout the country can be found food distribution points. Many ordinary Americans spend this day laying traditional food in bowls for the homeless. So they are trying to help on this day those less fortunate. Anyone can get their own piece of turkey.
  • Do you like parades? Then be sure to look at what a procession suits the Macy’s department store in New York! Every year since 1927, Macy’s largest department store hosts super parade. He is shown live on television. There are dances, and songs, and inflatable toys, and various moving platforms. So no one will be bored
  • Not all Thanksgiving turkeys are eaten on this holiday. Some of them are lucky. Every year, on Thanksgiving, the country's president gives pardon one or two turkeys. It is believed that this American tradition was founded by President Truman in 1947. The President solemnly pardons the turkeys on the lawn in front of the White House. Then these lucky ones are taken away. Sometimes they continue their lives on farms, sometimes in parks. But, in any case, they die their death, without encroachment on their lives.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Let's talk with you about the main character of the holiday table. It is believed that the weight of the average turkey on Thanksgiving for the holiday is 8-9 kilograms. Therefore, small families sometimes buy only turkey breast. Of course, it can be difficult to bake such a large bird in the oven. So sometimes you need help preparing such an American meal.

That is why it works on a holiday telephone hotline, where they will help you not to burn the little idea. It is believed that this line has been operating for about 30 years. At the other end of the wire there are a little more than 50 people who will advise what to do in a critical “turkey” situation. Such an emergency line operates in November and December. According to the site, in these months they answer more than 100,000 questions about cooking the main dish. Your question can be answered in both Spanish and English. Moreover, a couple of men are also working on the support line. They probably think that only a man can explain to another man how to bake a turkey properly.

There is also a turkey for vegetarians, though it consists of tofu. And she’s called that. Tofurky (Tofu + turkey). Of course, she does not look like a real bird. Tofurky can take many forms from sausages to minced meat. But on Thanksgiving they usually buy something that is very similar to pieces of stuffed meatloaf. Only in this meatloaf there is no meat. On the Internet and in cooking magazines there are many recipes for various dishes for vegetarians who can try to replace the good old turkey.

Useful words

Soup kitchen - free dining room
Parade - Parade
To worship - bow, read
Charity - Charity
To give thanks - thank
Gobble - the sound that a turkey makes

Thanksgiving Turkey

Let's talk with you about the main character of the holiday table. It is believed that the weight of the average turkey on Thanksgiving for the holiday is 8-9 kilograms. Therefore, small families sometimes buy only turkey breast. Of course, it can be difficult to bake such a large bird in the oven. So sometimes you need help preparing such an American meal.

That is why it works on a holiday telephone hotline, where they will help you not to burn the little idea. It is believed that this line has been operating for about 30 years. At the other end of the wire there are a little more than 50 people who will advise what to do in a critical “turkey” situation. Such an emergency line operates in November and December. According to the site, in these months they answer more than 100,000 questions about cooking the main dish. Your question can be answered in both Spanish and English. Moreover, a couple of men are also working on the support line. They probably think that only a man can explain to another man how to bake a turkey properly.

There is also a turkey for vegetarians, though it consists of tofu. And she’s called that. Tofurky (Tofu + turkey). Of course, she does not look like a real bird. Tofurky can take many forms from sausages to minced meat. But on Thanksgiving they usually buy something that is very similar to pieces of stuffed meatloaf. Only in this meatloaf there is no meat. On the Internet and in cooking magazines there are many recipes for various dishes for vegetarians who can try to replace the good old turkey.

Useful words

Hotline - telephone "hot line"
Recipe - Recipe
Frozen turkey - frozen turkey
To defrost - defrost
To roast - bake
Giblets - Offal
Pop-up thermometer is a small thermometer that a turkey will stick in. A small portion of this thermometer will pop up when the meat inside the turkey reaches the desired temperature.


Pop-up thermometer

Unfortunately, we are familiar with this holiday only thanks to television shows and films. Let's see how we get inspired by Thanksgiving and see how our good friends from various TV shows celebrate this day.

The series "American Family" ("Modern family")

The series "Friends" ("Friends")

The series “How I Met Your Mother” (“How I met your mother”)

How did the holiday come about?

In 1621, the first settlers from the Plymouth colony in the territory of the present state of Massachusetts arranged a holiday to thank God for the harsh winter experienced, as well as the indigenous people, the Indians, who taught them how to grow crops in local conditions.

The Indians brought three unfamiliar birds to the table, later they began to call them turkeys. Since then, the colonists have traditionally staged a holiday before the onset of winter, the turkey became its indispensable attribute.

After the emergence of a unified state, the first president of the country, George Washington, in 1789 proposed to celebrate Thanksgiving on November 26 at the national level, urging all Americans on that day to express their appreciation for the successful end of the War of Independence.

Later, the holiday was celebrated irregularly and on different days.

In 1863, by decree of President Abraham Lincoln, his annual celebration was established on the last Thursday of November, and in 1941 by a decision of Congress on the fourth Thursday of November.

How is Thanksgiving celebrated?

Thanksgiving is a family holiday, so traditionally several generations of Americans gather for a gala family dinner. The main dish of the day and the main symbol of the holiday is stuffed turkey with cranberry syrup. It is customary to serve with a large sweet pumpkin pie, corn, oranges, chestnuts, nuts and grapes.

On this day, most government agencies do not work, and private organizations can declare a day off at their discretion. Most Americans don't work next Thanksgiving Friday. So, the holiday lasts for four days at once, in connection with which up to 50 million inhabitants of the country annually on the eve of the celebration go on a trip to visit their relatives and friends.

Why turkey? What is so special about it?

Thanksgiving turkey, traditionally decorating the festive table of the US residents on Thanksgiving, is an original American bird. However, in English, at first it was called "Turkish chicken", and then - simply "Turkish" (turkey). Wild turkeys live in most of North America - from Mexico to Canada.

A few centuries BC, the Aztecs and Mayans raised these birds, used in religious ceremonies, and possibly even deified.

The modern household name of turkeys - "Turkish women" arrived in America from the Old World in the 17th century along with the first colonists. They quickly became convinced of the superiority of local wild birds over domesticated ones, but continued to name them as before.

Расхожее представление о том, будто именно в первых колониях родилась традиция отмечать День благодарения как осенний праздник урожая и наряду с другими дарами природы вкушать индюшатину, неверно.

В Плимутской колонии предпочитали оленину. Индюшку же "продвинула" в качестве главного праздничного блюда — вкусного, привычного и сравнительно недорогого — влиятельная издательница Ladies Journal Сара Хейл. It was she who persuaded Lincoln to establish a nationwide holiday in the country torn by the Civil War in honor of peace, tranquility and harmony.

How did the turkey pardon tradition come about?

It is believed that the tradition of "pardon" turkeys was born in 1947 under Harry Truman. But in 2003, Truman's presidential library announced that no documentary evidence of this exists.

According to the US Public Radio, tradition originates from Lincoln. Having succumbed to the entreaties of his son, who was very fond of the turkey presented to him, the 16th president of the United States decided not to give the bird under the knife.

The name "pardon" was first used by Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. The first one in 1987 made a joke on this subject, since then the issue of presidential pardon of the perpetrators of the Iran-Contras scandal was relevant, and the second two years later used the term "pardon" (pardon) already quite officially.

What else is known about turkeys and the pardon ceremony?

Turkey could become the national symbol of the United States. This proposal was made by Benjamin Franklin - one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence of the United States and the country's constitution. He was quite upset when the choice fell on the eagle.

The National Federation of Turkey Producers notes that the first breakfast on the moon for Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin who stepped on its surface was turkey meat.

About the preservation of life of turkeys can only speak very conditionally. They are specially fed for slaughter, and for a long time they do not live. In 2015, for example, it turned out that of all the turkeys pardoned earlier, only two survived - Karidzh (Courage, "Courage"), awarded presidential mercy in 2009, and pardoned in 2014 by Cheese (Cheese, "Cheese") .

What is known about trump turkeys?

In 2017, Trump first “pardoned” two turkeys - Drumstick and Wishbone. Turkeys weighing 21 kg and 17 kg were born at the end of June in Minnesota. After the “pardon” ceremony, the birds went to Virginia to live their lives at the Polytechnic University along with the turkeys pardoned by President Barack Obama in 2016. Goroshina and Carrot will go there, which Trump released this year.

The president himself and his household will celebrate a turkey-based holiday with cranberry sauce on his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

What follows Thanksgiving?

The day after the holiday, hundreds of stores in major US retail chains open their doors. The season of Christmas sales and huge discounts starts in the country.

Since 1924, every year in honor of Thanksgiving, or rather, in honor of the opening of the sales season, the world's largest Macy’s supermarket has been organizing a grand parade in New York. This procession as well as fireworks over the East River Strait are broadcast on television. But not only in New York, lush festivities are held - fireworks, parades, friendly American football matches are held throughout the country.

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