Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?

People in America celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November. This day is taken as a legal holiday. People spend wonderful time with their family and friends and have the holiday feast. But in Canada thanksgiving is celebrated because of harvest in October As harvest comes earlier in Canada. So this day is being celebrated from many years.

In 1608 some people from England moved to Netherlands to search their own church. They were called as pilgrims because their journey was based on religious reasons. But after years they realized that their children are growing up with the other country’s way of living land they had started speaking their language. Moreover their purpose to come there was not fulfilled. Now they decided to move to another place where they can live as English and where they could make their own church.

In September 1620 they started their voyage to new world in the “Mayflower” where the London Company agreed to pay them for starting settlement and in return they have to provide food, furs and other things for seven years from the new land. But because of winds and storm their ship moved nearly 100 miles away from Virginia and landed on Cape Cod on November 9, 1620. Pilgrims settled on the west of Cape Cod, a place named Plymouth. This was hard time for them because winter has started and they were not able to plant food. Cold temperature had not allowed them to construct any settlement. Nearly half of the people from their group died.

In 1621 Samoset, an Indian reached that place. They faced problem in communication. Next day he came with an English speaking Indian Squanto. He taught them how to hunt and grow corn. With the help of Squanto they were able to harvest in October. Pilgrims celebrated their success and invited Squanto with other Indians. This was thanksgiving feast for three days.

This celebration after harvest was practiced every year and in 1863 president Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day and in November 1941 president Franklin made fourth Thursday as the Thanksgiving Day.

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