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Thanksgiving: An American Tradition

24. November 2009 by Marie 0 Comments

Thanksgiving is a major holiday in both America and Canada. It is celebrated in America on the fourth Thursday of November -- this week.


Here's what you need to know about this holiday of national and personal gratitude.



The idea behind Thanksgiving was created by the Pilgrims, English people who came to Northeastern America to escape religious persecution. They celebrated the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621. They wanted to give thanks to God for making it through their first long winter in which many died from starvation and cold.

The following fall harvest was plentiful, and they shared it with the local Wampanoag Indians. Festivities included sports, games, food, dancing and singing. They prepared foods such as venison (deer meat) and fowl. Celebrations spread as the nation grew from colonies into states in 1776. It became a national holiday in 1863, but an official date was set in 1939.


Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October.


How it is celebrated

Today, most Americans celebrate this holiday with family and friends. They express thanks for the good things in life and enjoy a big meal which focuses on turkey stuffed with seasoned bread and vegetables, and served with gravy. Other foods enjoyed are sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, cranberry relish, corn and green beans.

There are also community festivals and a large parade in New York City that is broadcast on National TV. The day after Thanksgiving is one of America's biggest shopping day of the year, known as Black Friday.

So don't be surprised if your American admirers express thanks for meeting you through our Web site!

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

You may know pumpkin only as a savory vegetable dish. Try this sweet dessert version that is served at most Thanksgiving dinners.

Basic Pumpkin Pie Recipe

2 cups (480ml) milk, scalded
2 cups (450g) pumpkin, cooked and strained (or plain canned pumpkin)
2/3 cup (120 grams) firmly-packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated (cane) white sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 unbaked pie shell

1.Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
2.Blend all ingredients, except the pie shell, together.
3.Pour into the unbaked pie shell.
4.Bake at 180 °C (350 °F) for 45 minutes. When a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean, the filling is ready. Cool.

It is best served warm with whipped cream on top!