Thanksgiving Party: eight keys to knowing the most important family celebration in the United States

A family celebrating Thanksgiving in the US (AleksandarNakic/)

The celebration of the feast of thanksgiving or of Thanksgiving, as it is known in Spanish, and which is celebrated this Thursday, is one of the most important for Americans. Its impact on world culture has been so important that, despite the fact that it is not celebrated in the rest of the planet, some of its aspects, such as the Black Friday (Black Friday)They have already crossed their borders.

The night of Thanksgiving is very important in USA, as much or more than the Christmasis the record age of internal travelit is the beginning of the shopping season of end of the year because the next day, the black friday the famous offers that cause avalanches in stores are presented and e-commerce is greatly increased.

In addition, this day is also a mark of the country’s identity, the date on which the first Europeans in the North American territory, the colonists, thanked the gifts received. Most of the time the object of gratitude it was a good harvest, but there were also less idyllic circumstances to celebrate, such as peace after a battle with the local indigenous people.

These are the eight main things that define this all-American holiday:


It is a popular belief that its tradition goes back to the year 1621when the first English settlers in North America gathered to celebrate their first harvest and give Thanks god. At that celebration in plymouth some indians appeared Wampanoag who ate and drank together with the settlers. But like all founding myths, very few of these things are true, and the party as it is now known is rather 19th century information.

Illustration of the first Thanksgiving celebration
Illustration of the first Thanksgiving celebration (Granger/Shutterstock/)


The day of Thanksgiving was celebrated on dates other than autumn depending on the state, and its proclamation as american national holiday to be held on the last Thursday of each november is due to Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Although the proclamation was made during the Civil War and may have been a flop among the southern rebels, it soon became one of the festivals shared by all Americans.


Unlike the Christmasthe other great party followed in USA as in the whole world of culture christianthe day of Thanksgiving It has a transversal character to all the religions that are practiced in the country. It is celebrated by Christians of all stripes, Jews, Muslims and even secular or atheist. There is no religious ceremony associated with the festival on that day.

Thanksgiving is a secular holiday
Thanksgiving is a secular holiday (AMIRA KARAOUD/)


The thanksgiving It is the moment of the year par excellence of family reunions: in a country with high labor mobilitythis is the date on which the children take planes and all kinds of transport to meet their parents and siblings, and the traffic is very intense in the previous days in airports and train or bus stations to spend these four days together, because Friday usually becomes an unofficial holiday that joins the weekend.

Families usually also invite those who are alone for professional or personal reasons, so that they do not spend that important day alone. Those who do not have a family to go to, gather among friends, in what has been called “friendsgiving”.

Families reunite for Thanksgiving
Families are reunited for Thanksgiving (BRENDAN MCDERMID /)


It is almost mandatory that each family eat, at the end of the afternoon, a roast turkeyAccompanied by mashed potatoessauce red cranberries Y pumpkin cake. All supermarkets in the country offer turkeys. In the week prior to the party, the president of the country “pardons” a turkey and spares its life, which he presents in society in a televised event, and the lucky one is “baptize” with a name. Some more populist politicians give dozens of turkeys to their constituents at this party to ensure their loyalty.

thanksgiving turkey
Thanksgiving turkey (EUROPA PRESS /)


The (American) football league always schedules a day in thanksgivingand it is common for families to sit on the sofa to watch hours and hours of games on loop while they wait for the turkey, or even after the meal.


In recent years, the charitable acts on the occasion of the festival, and there are people who dedicate a few hours of that day to accompany those most in need and serve hot meals in shelters where they live homeless. Some do not fail to take advantage of the occasion to give timely publicity to their charitable acts, and thus it is common to see famous politicians, artists or athletes taking pictures at that charitable moment. There are those who exercise charity not with people but with animals, in a country where the care of domestic animals is almost a religion.

Charitable acts for Thanksgiving
Charitable acts for Thanksgiving (AUDE GUERRUCCI /)


The day after Thanksgiving is the most famous black friday, the day when stores announce generous discounts and customers take department stores by storm, although online shopping has tempered that phenomenon. It is, curiously, the only one of the traditions associated with the thanksgiving that has crossed borders to become a worldwide phenomenon.

For families who have agreed to hold smaller gatherings and send blessings from afar during the height of the season COVID-19 pandemicthis year’s Thanksgiving holiday is seen as the return of the big party.

Keep reading:

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