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segunda-feira, 14 de novembro de 2011

The Story of Thanksgiving

Don’t we all have someone to be grateful for? Well, that is what Thanksgiving is all about!

In the USA, there is a national Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

It is the peak travelling weekend of the year as families strive to be together on this important day.

It all started in 1620, when a group of British settlers called Pilgrims, who had separated from the Church of England, sailed from England to America in order to start a new life and practise their religion in freedom.

They sailed on a ship called the Mayflower. There were 102 people on the ship, but only 99 arrived alive. They went ashore at a place on the north-east coast of America they decided to call Plymouth after their motherland. They were far away and life was hard. They had little food and they knew little about the New World. Their first winter in America was very cold. Many of them became ill and died. Only half of the population survived.

However, the Native Americans who lived there decided to help them. They taught the newcomers how to grow corn and other plants to eat, and they gave them medicine to treat their illnesses. They also showed them how to hunt for food and how to build better houses. The Pilgrims worked hard but it was worth it to see their crops growing. Five years later they were self-sufficient. They avoided wars with the Indians by signing treaties and they devoted all their energy to farming, fishing, hunting and trading.

Presently children in kindergarten dress up as Indians and have lots of fun.

To thank the Native Americans, the Pilgrims invited them to a special dinner to celebrate their friendship. This special dinner was the first Thanksgiving and it lasted for three days.

Eating turkey became a tradition as a reminder of the turkeys they ate at their first Thanksgiving (nowadays Americans eat 45 million turkeys for Thanksgiving).

Salad, corn, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, apple pie, pumpkin pie and pecan pie are also found on almost every table.

This was a delicious pecan pie

Read The New York Times Guide to a Thanksgiving menu here.

American families like watching an American football game as part of the celebrations (American football is played with helmets and pads and the ball has the shape of a rugby ball).

Macy´s Thanksgiving Day parade is also a tradition that started in 1924 (Macy is a big department store in New York, where the film Miracle on 34th Street took place)

If you visit Plymouth in the state of Massachusetts you can see the landing place of the Pilgrims- Plymouth rock- that is part of the Pilgrim Memorial State Park.
You can also watch a 17th century English Village:

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October, as a way to thank the bounty of the harvest season.


1 comentário:

  1. :) Wish I was celebrating thanksgiving with family now:) By the way, that's a curious little indian there!