今週の木曜日はThanksgiving Dayだそうです。VOAのSpecial Englishで知りました。
Thanksgiving is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November.
Some Americans travel long distances to be with their families.
It is not a religious holiday. But it has spiritual meaning.
The writer O. Henry called Thanksgiving the one holiday that is purely American.
Thanksgiving began with the first European settlers in America. They gathered their crops, celebrated and gave thanks for the food.
Tradition says Pilgrim settlers from England celebrated the first thanksgiving in sixteen twenty-one. There is evidence that settlers in other parts of America held earlier thanksgiving celebrations. But the Pilgrims’ thanksgiving story is the most popular.
The Pilgrims were religious dissidents who fled oppression in England. They went first to the Netherlands. Then they left that country to establish a colony in North America. The Pilgrims landed in sixteen twenty in what later became known as Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Their voyage across the Atlantic Ocean was difficult. Their first months in America were difficult, too. About one hundred Pilgrims landed just as autumn was turning to winter. During the cold months that followed, about half of them died.
When spring came, the pilgrims began to plant crops. An American Indian named Squanto helped them. When summer ended, the Pilgrims had a good harvest of corn and barley. There was enough food to last through the winter.
The Pilgrims decided to hold a celebration to give thanks for their harvest. Writings from that time say Pilgrim leader William Bradford set a date late in the year. He invited members of a nearby Indian tribe to take part. There were many kinds of food to eat. The meal included wild birds such as ducks, geese and turkeys. That thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.