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感恩节(Thanksgiving Day)  

2008-11-25 20:50:27|  分类: 百科常識 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a traditional North American holiday, and is a form of harvest festival. The date and whereabouts of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention, though the earliest attested Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida.[1] Despite scholarly research to the contrary, the traditional "first Thanksgiving" is venerated as having occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is done in the evening, usually as a gathering of friends and/or family.

The period from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day often is called the holiday season. Most people celebrate by gathering at home with family or friends for a holiday feast. Though the holiday's origins can be traced to harvest festivals that have been celebrated in many cultures since ancient times[citation needed], the American holiday has religious undertones related to the deliverance of the English settlers by Native Americans after the brutal winter at Plymouth, Massachusetts.[citation needed]

History

Spaniards

The first recorded Thanksgiving ceremony took place on September 8, 1565, when 600 Spanish settlers, under the leadership of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, landed at what is now St. Augustine, Florida, and immediately held a Mass of Thanksgiving for their safe delivery to the New World; there followed a feast and celebration. As the La Florida colony did become part of the United States, this can be classified as the first Thanksgiving.[1]

El Paso, Texas, has also been said to be the site of the first Thanksgiving to be held in what is now known as the United States, though that was not a harvest festival. Spaniard Don Juan de O?ate ordered his expedition party to rest and conducted a mass in celebration of thanksgiving on April 30, 1598.[2]

1619 thanksgiving, the Virginia colony

On December 4, 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred, which comprised about 8,000 acres (32 km?) on the north bank of the James River, near Herring Creek, in an area then known as Charles Cittie (sic), about 20 miles (32 km) upstream from Jamestown, where the first permanent settlement of the Colony of Virginia had been established on May 14, 1607.

The group's charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a "day of thanksgiving" to God. On that first day, Captain John Woodleaf held the service of thanksgiving. As quoted from the section of the Charter of Berkeley Hundred specifying the thanksgiving service: "We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."[citation needed]

During the Indian Massacre of 1622, nine of the settlers at Berkeley Hundred were killed, as well as about a third of the entire population of the Virginia Colony. The Berkeley Hundred site and other outlying locations were abandoned as the colonists withdrew to Jamestown and other more secure points. Historians dispute the cause of this massacre.

After several years, the site became Berkeley Plantation, and was long the traditional home of the Harrison family, one of the First Families of Virginia. In 1634, it became part of the first eight shires of Virginia, as Charles City County, one of the oldest in the United States, and is located along Virginia State Route 5, which runs parallel to the river's northern borders past sites of many of the James River Plantations between the colonial capital city of Williamsburg (now the site of Colonial Williamsburg) and the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia at Richmond.

Berkeley Plantation continues to be the site of an annual Thanksgiving event to this day. President George W. Bush gave his official Thanksgiving address in 2007 at Berkeley saying:

In the four centuries since the founders of Berkeley first knelt on these grounds, our nation has changed in many ways. Our people have prospered, our nation has grown, our Thanksgiving traditions have evolved -- after all, they didn't have football back then. Yet the source of all our blessings remains the same: We give thanks to the Author of Life who granted our forefathers safe passage to this land, who gives every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth the gift of freedom, and who watches over our nation every day.[3]

1621 thanksgiving, the Pilgrims at Plymouth

感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
Painting of "The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" By Jennie A. Brownscombe.

Squanto, a Patuxet Native American who resided with the Wampanoag tribe, taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them (Squanto had learned English as a slave in Europe and travels in England). The Pilgrims set apart a day to celebrate at Plymouth immediately after their first harvest, in 1621. At the time, this was not regarded as a Thanksgiving observance; harvest festivals were existing parts of English and Wampanoag tradition alike. Several colonists have personal accounts of the 1621 feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts: Pilgrims are not to be confused with Puritans who established their own Massachusetts Bay Colony nearby (current day Boston) in 1628 and had very different religious beliefs. [4]

William Bradford, in Of Plymouth Plantation:

They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.

Edward Winslow, in Mourt's Relation:

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

The Pilgrims did not hold a true Thanksgiving until 1623, when it followed a drought, prayers for rain, and a subsequent rain shower. Irregular Thanksgivings continued after favorable events and days of fasting after unfavorable ones. In the Plymouth tradition, a thanksgiving day was a church observance, rather than a feast day.

Gradually, an annual Thanksgiving after the harvest developed in the mid-17th century. This did not occur on any set day or necessarily on the same day in different colonies in America.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony (consisting mainly of Puritan Christians) celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time in 1630, and frequently thereafter until about 1680, when it became an annual festival in that colony; and Connecticut as early as 1639 and annually after 1647, except in 1675. The Dutch in New Netherland appointed a day for giving thanks in 1644 and occasionally thereafter.

Charlestown, Massachusetts held the first recorded Thanksgiving observance June 29, 1671 by proclamation of the town's governing council.

During the 18th century individual colonies commonly observed days of thanksgiving throughout each year. We might not recognize a traditional Thanksgiving Day from that period, as it was not a day marked by plentiful food and drink as is today's custom, but rather a day set aside for prayer and fasting.

Later in the 1700s individual colonies would periodically designate a day of thanksgiving in honor of a military victory, an adoption of a state constitution or an exceptionally bountiful crop. Such a Thanksgiving Day celebration was held in December 1777 by the colonies nationwide, commemorating the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga.

The Revolutionary war to nationhood

During the American Revolutionary War the Continental Congress appointed one or more thanksgiving days each year, each time recommending to the executives of the various states the observance of these days in their states. The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress in 1777:

FOR AS MUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth "in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.

And it is further recommended, That servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other Times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion.

George Washington, leader of the revolutionary forces in the American Revolutionary War, proclaimed a Thanksgiving in December 1777 as a victory celebration honoring the defeat of the British at Saratoga.

Thanksgiving proclamations in the first thirty years of nationhood

As President, on October 3, 1789, George Washington made the following proclamation and created the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government of the United States of America:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.[5]

George Washington again proclaimed a Thanksgiving in 1795.

President John Adams declared Thanksgivings in 1798 and 1799. No Thanksgiving proclamations were issued by Thomas Jefferson but James Madison renewed the tradition in 1814, in response to resolutions of Congress, at the close of the War of 1812. Madison also declared the holiday twice in 1815; however, none of these were celebrated in autumn. In 1816, Governor Plamer of New Hampshire appointed Thursday, November 14 to be observed as a day of Public Thanksgiving and Governor Brooks of Massachusetts appointed Thursday, November 28 to be "observed throughout that State as a day of Thanksgiving."[6]

A thanksgiving day was annually appointed by the governor of New York from 1817. In some of the Southern states there was opposition to the observance of such a day on the ground that it was a relic of Puritanic bigotry, but by 1858 proclamations appointing a day of thanksgiving were issued by the governors of 25 states and two territories.

Lincoln and the Civil War

感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
Sketch of Thanksgiving in Civil War camp in 1861.
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
Lithograph, Home To Thanksgiving 1867

In the middle of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, prompted by a series of editorials written by Sarah Josepha Hale,[7] proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth."

Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln, 3 October 1863.[7]

Since 1863, Thanksgiving has been observed annually in the United States.

1939 to 1940

Abraham Lincoln's successors as president followed his example of annually declaring the final Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving. But in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt broke with this tradition. November had five Thursdays that year, and Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. In 1940, in which November had four Thursdays, he declared the third one as Thanksgiving. Although many popular histories state otherwise, he made clear that his plan was to establish it on the next-to-last Thursday in the month instead of the last one. With the country still in the midst of The Great Depression, Roosevelt thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas. Increasing profits and spending during this period, Roosevelt hoped, would help bring the country out of the Depression. At the time, advertising goods for Christmas before Thanksgiving was considered inappropriate.

However, many localities had made a tradition of celebrating on the last Thursday, and since a presidential declaration of Thanksgiving Day was not legally binding, it was widely disregarded. Twenty-three states went along with Roosevelt's recommendation, 22 did not, and some, like Texas, could not decide and took both weeks as government holidays. Critics termed Roosevelt's dating of the holiday as "Franksgiving."

1941 to present

The U.S. Congress in 1941 split the difference and passed a bill requiring that Thanksgiving be observed annually on the fourth Thursday of November, which was sometimes the last Thursday and sometimes (less frequently) the next to last. On December 26 of that year President Roosevelt signed this bill, for the first time making the date of Thanksgiving a matter of federal law. See 55 Stat. 862 (1941).

感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
President Truman receiving a Thanksgiving turkey from members of the Poultry and Egg National Board and other representatives of the turkey industry, outside the White House.
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
President George W. Bush pardons “Flyer” the turkey during the 2006 ceremony in the White House Rose Garden[8].

Since 1947, or possibly earlier, the National Turkey Federation has presented the President of the United States with one live turkey and two dressed turkeys, in a ceremony known as the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. The live turkey is pardoned and lives out the rest of its days on a peaceful farm. While it is commonly held that this pardoning tradition began with Harry Truman in 1947, the Truman Library has been unable to find any evidence for this. The earliest on record is with George H. W. Bush in 1989.[9] Still others claim that the tradition dates back to Abraham Lincoln pardoning his son's pet turkey.[10] Both stories have been quoted in more recent presidential speeches.

感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
U.S. President George W. Bush meets with troops and serves Thanksgiving Day Dinner in Iraq during the Iraq war.

In more recent years, two turkeys have been pardoned, in case the original turkey becomes unavailable for presidential pardoning. Since 2003 the public has been invited to vote for the two turkeys' names. They were named Stars and Stripes in 2003 and 2004's turkeys were called Biscuit and Gravy. In 2005 the public decided on Marshmallow and Yam, in 2006 on Flyer and Fryer, and in 2007 on May and Flower.[8] [11] Since 2005, the two turkeys have been flown first class on United Airlines from Washington, D.C. to the Los Angeles area where they become the Grand Marshals of Disneyland's annual Thanksgiving Day parade down Main Street. The two turkeys then live out the rest of their relatively short lives in Disneyland's Frontierland ranch.[12]

Since 1970, a group of Native Americans and other assorted protesters (mostly of progressive political persuasion) have held a National Day of Mourning protest on Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the name of social equality and in honor of political prisoners.

Traditional celebrations

Foods of the season

U.S. tradition compares the holiday with a meal held in 1621 by the Wampanoag and the Puritans who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This element continues in modern times with the Thanksgiving dinner, often featuring turkey, playing a large role in the celebration of Thanksgiving. Some of the details of the American Thanksgiving story are myths that developed in the 1890s and early 1900s as part of the effort to forge a common national identity in the aftermath of the Civil War and in the melting pot of new immigrants.

感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

In the United States, certain kinds of food are traditionally served at Thanksgiving meals. First and foremost, baked or roasted turkey is usually the featured item on any Thanksgiving feast table (so much so that Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as "Turkey Day"). Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, other fall vegetables, and pumpkin pie are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner. All of these primary dishes are actually native to the Americas or were introduced as a new food source to the Europeans when they arrived.

To feed the needy at Thanksgiving time, most communities have annual food drives that collect non-perishable packaged and canned foods, and corporations sponsor charitable distributions of staple foods and Thanksgiving dinners.

Giving thanks

感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving was originally a religious observance for all the members of the community to give thanks to God for a common purpose. Historic reasons for community thanksgivings include the 1541 thanksgiving mass after the expedition of Coronado safely crossing part of Texas and finding game[13][14], and the 1777 thanksgiving after the victory in the revolutionary battle of Saratoga[15]. In his 1789 Proclamation, President Washington gave many noble reasons for a national Thanksgiving, including “for the civil and religious liberty,” for “useful knowledge,” and for God’s “kind care” and "his providence."[16] The only presidents to inject a specifically Christian focus to their proclamation have been Grover Cleveland in 1896,[17] and William McKinley in 1900.[18] Several other presidents have cited the Judeo-Christian tradition. Gerald Ford's 1975 declaration made no clear reference to any divinity.[19]

The tradition of giving thanks to God is continued today in various forms. Religious and spiritual organizations offer services and events on Thanksgiving themes the week-end before, the day of, or the week-end after Thanksgiving. Bishop Ryan observed about Thanksgiving Day, "It is the only day we have that consistently finds Catholics at Mass in extraordinary numbers...even though it is not a holy day of obligation.[20]."

In celebrations at home, it is a holiday tradition in many families to begin the Thanksgiving dinner by saying grace[2]. Found in diverse religious traditions, grace is a prayer before or after a meal to express appreciation to God, to ask for God’s blessing, or in some philosophies, to express an altruistic wish or dedication. The custom is portrayed in the photograph “Family Holding Hands and Praying Before a Thanksgiving Meal.” The grace may be led by the hostess or host, as has been traditional, or, in contemporary fashion, each person may contribute words of blessing or thanks[21]. According to a 1998 Gallup poll, an estimated 64 percent of Americans say grace[22].

Vacation and travel

On Thanksgiving Day, families and friends usually gather for a large meal or dinner, the result being that the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. In the United States, Thanksgiving is a four-day or five-day weekend vacation in school and college calendars. Most business and government workers (78% in 2007) are also given both Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays[23]. Thanksgiving Eve, on the Wednesday night before, has been one of the busiest nights of the year for bars and clubs, both in terms of sales and volume of patrons, as many students have returned to their hometowns from college.

Parades

See also: List of holiday parades

In New York City, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (often erroneously referred to as the "Macy's Day Parade") is held annually every Thanksgiving Day from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Macy's flagship store in Herald Square, and televised nationally by NBC. The parade features parade floats with specific themes, scenes from Broadway plays, large balloons of cartoon characters and TV personalities, and high school marching bands. The float that traditionally ends the Macy's Parade is the Santa Claus float, the arrival of which unofficially signifies that the Christmas season has begun.

Thanksgiving parades also appear in many other cities, including:

Several other parades have a loose association with Thanksgiving, thanks to CBS's now-discontinued All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage. Parades that were covered during this era were the Aloha Floral Parade held in Honolulu, Hawaii every September, the Toronto Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the Opryland Aqua Parade (held from 1996 to 2001 by the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville); the Opryland parade was discontinued replaced by a taped parade in Miami Beach, Florida in 2002. A Disneyland parade was also featured on CBS until Disney purchased rival ABC.

Shopping

The American winter holiday season (generally the Christmas shopping season in the U.S.) traditionally begins the day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday", although most stores actually start to stock for and promote the December holidays immediately after Halloween, and sometimes even before. Opponents of consumerism in some places protest this behavior by declaring the day after Thanksgiving Buy Nothing Day.

Football

See also: Thanksgiving Classic

American football is often a major part of Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States. Professional games are traditionally played on Thanksgiving Day; until recently, these were the only games played during the week apart from Sunday or Monday night. The National Football League has played games on Thanksgiving every year since its creation; the tradition is referred to as the Thanksgiving Classic. The Detroit Lions have hosted a game every Thanksgiving Day since 1934, with the exception of 1939–1944 (due to World War II). The Dallas Cowboys have hosted every Thanksgiving Day since 1966, with the exception of 1975 and 1977 when the then-St. Louis Cardinals hosted (the Cowboys and Cardinals faced each other, in Dallas, in 1976). Since 2006 three games are played on Thanksgiving Day, with the third not having a set host team. The American Football League also had a Thanksgiving Classic since its founding in 1960, with its 8 founding teams rotating one game each year (two games after the AFL-NFL merger).

For many college football teams, the regular season ends on Thanksgiving weekend, and a team's final game is often against a regional or historic rival. Most of these college games are played either on Friday or Saturday immediately after Thanksgiving, but usually a single college game is played on Thanksgiving itself. The most well known Thanksgiving holiday weekend games include:

Television and radio

While not as prolific as Christmas specials, which usually begin right after Thanksgiving, there are many special television programs that air on or around Thanksgiving.

Most special programming airs during daytime on Thanksgiving. NBC currently carries the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade nationwide by official license from Macy's; NBC also carries the National Dog Show immediately after the Macy's Parade, followed by Miracle on 34th Street. CBS carries unofficial coverage of the Macy's parade and an NFL game; on odd-numbered years when CBS has the Dallas Cowboys game, the East Coast sees repeats of its daytime programs during the afternoons (on even-numbered when they have the Detroit Lions game, the West Coast programming is shuffled so that the extra time airs in late night hours). ABC has no daytime Thanksgiving specials; neither does FOX, although Fox also carries an NFL game. In syndication, The Oprah Winfrey Show carries its annual Oprah's Favorite Things some time around Thanksgiving, while syndicators will air Thanksgiving-themed episodes of sitcom reruns. WGN America carries the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade and a special entitled Bozo, Gar and Ray: WGN TV Classics. Local television stations will occasionally preempt these programs in favor of local parades and events.

In prime time, ABC currently airs A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and the last Peanuts television special, He's a Bully, Charlie Brown; until 2005 and again in 2008, this aired on Thanksgiving night (though in 2006 and 2007, the network moved this to the Monday before so that they could compete head-to-head with CBS, who airs regularly scheduled programming, in a ratings war, as Thanksgiving lies within the November sweeps period). On Thanksgiving night, Fox usually carries a feature film. NBC's programming varies each year, but appears to have settled on replaying the 2004 Disney/Pixar film The Incredibles.

Cable stations usually carry marathons of their popular shows on Thanksgiving day. The 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz is often aired on Thanksgiving Day on Turner Broadcasting owned outlets (either TBS or Turner Classic Movies).

On the radio, the Friday before Thanksgiving has, in recent years, been the benchmark and standard date for adult contemporary music stations to switch over to full-time Christmas music. There are a few Thanksgiving-themed specials and songs for various formats; many classic rock stations, for example, have a tradition of playing Arlo Guthrie's 1967 song "Alice's Restaurant" on Thanksgiving, as the song's lyrics are about an event that takes place on the holiday, while many other stations will air Adam Sandler's "The Thanksgiving Song." In talk radio, The Rush Limbaugh Show has a tradition known as "The Real Story of Thanksgiving," in which Limbaugh argues (based upon texts such as Of Plymouth Plantation) that the early Puritans were proto-Communists who, upon near starvation in the winter of 1621, switched to a free enterprise system and prospered. Westwood One carries all of the NFL Thanksgiving games, while the Sports USA Radio Network carries several of the Friday rivalry games.

Date

Since being fixed at the fourth Thursday in November by law in 1941, the holiday in the United States can occur as early as November 22 to as late as November 28. When it falls on November 22 or 23, it is not the last Thursday, but the second to last Thursday in November. As it is a Federal holiday, all United States government offices are closed and employees are paid for that day. It is also a holiday for the New York Stock Exchange, and also for most other financial markets and financial services companies.

Future Thanksgiving dates 2008–2014

  • Thursday, November 27, 2008
  • Thursday, November 26, 2009
  • Thursday, November 25, 2010
  • Thursday, November 24, 2011
  • Thursday, November 22, 2012
  • Thursday, November 28, 2013
  • Thursday, November 27, 2014

Friday after Thanksgiving

The Friday after Thanksgiving, although not a Federal holiday, is often a company holiday for many in the U.S. workforce, except for those in retail. It is also a day off for most schools. The Friday after Thanksgiving, colloquially known as Black Friday, is usually the start of the Christmas shopping season.

Advent (Christmas) season

The secular Thanksgiving holiday also coincides with the start of the four week Advent season before Christmas in the Western Christian church calendars. Advent starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas Day on December 25; in other words, the Sunday between November 27 and December 3 inclusive.

The First Thanksgiving

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. This harvest meal has become a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans. Although this feast is considered by many to the very first Thanksgiving celebration, it was actually in keeping with a long tradition of celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops. Native American groups throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.

Historians have also recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Berkeley Plantation, Virginia. At this site near the Charles River in December of 1619, a group of British settlers led by Captain John Woodlief knelt in prayer and pledged "Thanksgiving" to God for their healthy arrival after a long voyage across the Atlantic. This event has been acknowledged by some scholars and writers as the official first Thanksgiving among European settlers on record. Whether at Plymouth, Berkeley Plantation, or throughout the Americas, celebrations of thanks have held great meaning and importance over time. The legacy of thanks, and particularly of the feast, have survived the centuries as people throughout the United States gather family, friends, and enormous amounts of food for their yearly Thanksgiving meal.

What Was Actually on the Menu?

What foods topped the table at the first harvest feast? Historians aren't completely certain about the full bounty, but it's safe to say the pilgrims weren't gobbling up pumpkin pie or playing with their mashed potatoes. Following is a list of the foods that were available to the colonists at the time of the 1621 feast. However, the only two items that historians know for sure were on the menu are venison and wild fowl, which are mentioned in primary sources. The most detailed description of the "First Thanksgiving" comes from Edward Winslow from A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, in 1621:

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

Did you know that lobster, seal and swans were on the Pilgrims' menu? Learn more...

Seventeenth Century Table Manners:

The pilgrims didn't use forks; they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers. They wiped their hands on large cloth napkins which they also used to pick up hot morsels of food. Salt would have been on the table at the harvest feast, and people would have sprinkled it on their food. Pepper, however, was something that they used for cooking but wasn't available on the table.

In the seventeenth century, a person's social standing determined what he or she ate. The best food was placed next to the most important people. People didn't tend to sample everything that was on the table (as we do today), they just ate what was closest to them.

Serving in the seventeenth century was very different from serving today. People weren't served their meals individually. Foods were served onto the table and then people took the food from the table and ate it. All the servers had to do was move the food from the place where it was cooked onto the table.

Pilgrims didn't eat in courses as we do today. All of the different types of foods were placed on the table at the same time and people ate in any order they chose. Sometimes there were two courses, but each of them would contain both meat dishes, puddings, and sweets.

More Meat, Less Vegetables

Our modern Thanksgiving repast is centered around the turkey, but that certainly wasn't the case at the pilgrims's feasts. Their meals included many different meats. Vegetable dishes, one of the main components of our modern celebration, didn't really play a large part in the feast mentality of the seventeenth century. Depending on the time of year, many vegetables weren't available to the colonists.

The pilgrims probably didn't have pies or anything sweet at the harvest feast. They had brought some sugar with them on the Mayflower but by the time of the feast, the supply had dwindled. Also, they didn't have an oven so pies and cakes and breads were not possible at all. The food that was eaten at the harvest feast would have seemed fatty by 1990's standards, but it was probably more healthy for the pilgrims than it would be for people today. The colonists were more active and needed more protein. Heart attack was the least of their worries. They were more concerned about the plague and pox.

Surprisingly Spicy Cooking

People tend to think of English food at bland, but, in fact, the pilgrims used many spices, including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, and dried fruit, in sauces for meats. In the seventeenth century, cooks did not use proportions or talk about teaspoons and tablespoons. Instead, they just improvised. The best way to cook things in the seventeenth century was to roast them. Among the pilgrims, someone was assigned to sit for hours at a time and turn the spit to make sure the meat was evenly done.

Since the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians had no refrigeration in the seventeenth century, they tended to dry a lot of their foods to preserve them. They dried Indian corn, hams, fish, and herbs.

Dinner for Breakfast: Pilgrim Meals:

The biggest meal of the day for the colonists was eaten at noon and it was called noonmeat or dinner. The housewives would spend part of their morning cooking that meal. Supper was a smaller meal that they had at the end of the day. Breakfast tended to be leftovers from the previous day's noonmeat.

In a pilgrim household, the adults sat down to eat and the children and servants waited on them. The foods that the colonists and Wampanoag Indians ate were very similar, but their eating patterns were different. While the colonists had set eating patterns—breakfast, dinner, and supper—the Wampanoags tended to eat when they were hungry and to have pots cooking throughout the day.

Source: Kathleen Curtin, Food Historian at Plimoth Plantation
All Photos Courtesy of Plimouth Plantation, Inc., Plymouth, Mass. USA. ca.

感恩节概述

  感恩节(Thanksgiving Day)是美国加拿大共 有的节日,原意是为了感谢上天赐予的好收成。在美国,自1941年起,感恩节是在每年11月的第四个星期四,并从这一天起将休假两天。在这一天,成千上万 的人们不管多忙,都要和自己的家人团聚。感恩节是美国人民一个古老节日,也是美国人合家欢聚的节日,因此美国人提起感恩节总是倍感亲切。加拿大的感恩节则 起始於1879年,是在每年10月第二个星期一,与美国的哥伦布日相同。

感恩节由来

  感恩节的由来
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
要一直追溯到美国历史的发端。1620年,著名的“五月花”号船满载不堪忍受英国国内宗教迫害的清教徒102人到达美洲。1620年和1621年之交的冬天,他们遇到了难以想象的困难,处在饥寒交迫之中,冬天过去时,活下来的移民只有50来人。这时,心地善良的印第安人给移民送来了生活必需品,还特地派人教他们怎样狩猎、捕鱼和种植玉米、南瓜。在印第安人的帮助下,移民们终于获得了丰收,在欢庆丰收的日子,按照宗教传统习俗,移民规定了感谢上帝的日子,并决定为感谢印第安人的真诚帮助,邀请他们一同庆祝节日。
  在第一个感恩节的这一天,印第安人和移民欢聚一堂,他们在黎明时鸣放礼炮,列队走进一间用作教 堂的屋子,虔诚地向上帝表达谢意,然后点起篝火举行盛大宴会。第二天和第三天又举行了摔跤、赛跑、唱歌、跳舞等活动。第一个感恩节非常成功。其中许多庆祝 方式流传了300多年,一直保留到今天。
  最初感恩节没有固定日期,由各州临时决定,直到美国独立后,感恩节才成为全国性的节日。 1863年,林肯总 统把感恩节定为法定假日。到1941年, 美国国会通过一项法令,把感恩节定在每年十一月的第四个星期四。 每逢感恩节这一天,美国举国上下热闹非凡,人们按照习俗前往教堂做感恩祈祷,城乡市镇到处都有化装游行、戏剧表演或体育比赛等。分开了一年的亲人们也会从 天南海北归来,一家人团团圆圆,品尝美味的感恩节火鸡。
  加拿大感恩节的由来
  加拿大和美国的感恩节不在同一天,或许也知道加拿大议会将感恩节列为法定假日稍晚于美国。但加 拿大的第一个感恩节要比美国早40年,加拿大感恩节的庆祝活动是在十月的第二个星期一。与美国人缅怀清教徒先辈定居新大陆的传统不同,加拿大人主要感谢上 天给予的成功的收获。加拿大的感恩节早于美国的感恩节,一个简单的事实是,加拿大的收获季节相对于美国早一些,因为加拿大更靠近北部。加拿大的感恩节通常 被认为受三个传统习惯的影响。
  其一是来自欧洲传统的影响。从大约2000年以前最早的一次收获开始,人们就已经庆祝丰收,感谢富饶的大自然给予他们的恩施和好运。当欧洲人来到加拿大后,也将这一传统带入加拿大,并对后来加拿大感恩节的传统产生影响。
  其二是英国探险家庆祝生存的影响。在清教徒登陆美国马萨诸塞的40年之前,加拿大就举行了第一 个正式的感恩节。在1578年,一位英国探险家命名马钉法贝瑟(Martin Frobisher)试图发现一个连接东方的通道,不过他没有成功。但是他在现今的加拿大纽芬兰省建立了定居点,并举行了一个庆祝生存和收获的宴餐。其它 后来的移居者继续这些“感恩”仪式。这一次被认为是加拿大的第一个感恩节。
  其三的影响来自于后来的美国。1621年的秋天,远涉重洋来到美洲新大陆的英国移民,为了感谢 上帝赐予的丰收,举行了3天的狂欢活动。从此,这一习俗就沿续下来,并逐渐风行各地。在美国革命其间,美国一批忠于英皇室的保皇党迁移到加拿大,也将美国 感恩节的习惯和方式带到了加拿大。1750年庆祝丰收的活动被来自美国南部的移居者带到了新四科舍(Nova Scotia),同时,法国移居者到达,并且举行“感恩”宴餐。这些均对加拿大的感恩节产生了深远的影响。
  1879 年加拿大议会宣称11月6日是感恩节和全国性的假日。在随后的年代,感恩节的日期改变了多次,直到在1957 年1月31日,加拿大议会宣布每年十月的第二个星期一为感恩节,在这一天感谢万能的上帝保佑加拿大并给予丰富的收获。
  美国是在1863年,由总统林肯正式宣布感恩节为国定假日。通常美国感恩节的典故总是离不开清 教徒和著名领袖布雷德福、102名同伴、重180吨长90英尺的木制帆船五月花号、科德角湾、普利茅斯港、印度安人和酋长马萨索德。这些是美洲新英格兰第 一个永久性殖民地的历史见证。
  两国的感恩节之间有许多相似性,譬如装满花果谷物象征丰饶的山羊角(cornucopia)和南瓜饼(pumpkin pie)。加拿大感恩大餐的餐桌上的食物通常也与地域和时间的变化而不同,有些是鹿肉和水鸟,有些是野鸭野鹅,但目前主要是火鸡和火腿。

感恩节习俗

  每逢感恩节这一
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚
天, 美国举国上下热闹非常,人们按照习俗前往教堂做感恩祈祷,城乡市镇到处举行化装游行、戏剧表演和体育比赛等,学校和商店也都按规定放假休息。孩子们还模仿 当年印第安人的模样穿上离奇古怪的服装,画上脸谱或戴上面具到街上唱歌、吹喇叭。散居在他乡外地的家人也会回家过节,一家人团团围坐在一起,大嚼美味火 鸡。
  同时,好客的美国人也忘不掉这一天邀请好友、单身汉或远离家乡的入共度佳节。从18世纪起,美 国就开始出现一种给贫穷人家送一篮子食物的风俗。当时有一群年轻妇女想在一年中选一天专门做善事,认为选定感恩节是最恰当不过的。所以感恩节一到,她们就 装上满满一篮食物亲自送到穷人家。这件事远近传闻,不久就有许多人学着她们的样子做起来。
  总统放生火鸡仪式
  每年一度的总统放生火鸡仪式始于1947年杜鲁门总统当政时期,但实际上这个传统仪式可以追溯到美国内战林肯总统当政的时期。1863年的一天,林肯的儿子泰德突然闯入内阁会议请求赦免一只名叫杰克的宠物火鸡,因为这只被送进白宫的火鸡,即将成为人们的圣诞节大餐。

感恩节食物

  第一次感恩节的菜谱包括:
  Cornbread - 玉米面包,英国人和印第安人都喜欢的食物。English Cheese Pie - 英国奶酪派,奶酪对英国人很重要。Venison - 鹿肉,印第安人带来了5头鹿。Ducks & Geese - 鸭和鹅,英国人捕的。Wild Turkey - 野生火鸡。 Garlic and Onions - 大蒜和洋葱。Pumpkin Pudding - 南瓜布丁。 Indian Pudding - 印地安布丁。
感恩节(Thanksgiving Day) - 青山妩媚 - 青山妩媚


  感恩节的食品极富传统色彩。每逢感恩节,美国人必有肥嫩的ji可吃。火鸡是感思节的传统主菜。 它原是栖息于北美洲的野禽,后经人们大批饲养,成为美味家禽,每只可重达四五十磅。现在仍有些地方设有猎场,专供人们在感恩节前射猎,有兴趣的人到猎场花 些钱,就能亲自打上几只野火鸡回家。使节日更富有情趣。
  火鸡的吃法也有一定讲究。它需要整只烤出,鸡皮烤成深棕色,肚子里还要塞上许多拌好的食物,如 碎面包等。端上桌后,由男主人用刀切成薄片分给大家。然后由各人自己浇上卤汁,洒上盐,味道十分鲜美。感恩节的食物除火鸡外,还有红莓苔子果酱、甜山芋、 玉蜀黍、 南瓜饼、自己烘烤的面包及各种蔬菜和水果等。这些东西都是感恩节的传统食品。
  感恩节餐桌的布置也很有特色。主妇们不是照往常一样摆放鲜花,而是摆放水果和蔬菜。中间还常常 放上一个大南瓜,周围堆放些苹果、玉米和干果。有时人们还把苹果或南瓜掏空,中间放满去壳的干果或者点燃蜡烛。平时,女主人可以在饭后把客人让到客厅里, 但在感恩节却不这样做。感恩节的聚餐是甜美的,每个人都愿意在饭桌旁多呆一会儿,他们一边吃一边愉快地回亿往事,直到最后一根蜡烛燃尽。

感恩节游戏

   感恩节宴会后,有些家庭还常常做些传统游戏。第一次感恩节,人们进行了跳舞、比赛等许多娱乐活动,其中有些一直流传至今。有种游戏叫蔓越桔竞赛,是把一 个装有蔓越桔的大碗放在地上,4-10名竞赛者围坐在周围,每人发给针线一份。比赛一开始,他们先穿针线,然后把蔓越桔一个个串起来,3分钟一到;谁串得 最长,谁就得奖。至于穿得最慢的人,大家还开玩笑地发给他一个最差奖。
  还有一种玉米游戏也很古老。据说这是为了纪念当年在粮食匮乏的情况下发给每个移民五个玉米而流 传下来的。游戏时。人们把五个玉米藏在屋里,由大家分头去找,找到玉米的五个人参加比赛,其他人在一旁观看。比赛开始,五个人就迅速把玉米粒剥在一个碗 里,谁先剥完谁得奖,然后由没有参加比赛的人围在碗旁边猜里面有多少玉米粒,猜得数量最接近的奖给一大包玉米花。
  人们最喜爱的游戏要算南瓜赛跑了。比赛者用一把小勺推着南瓜跑,规则是绝对不能用手碰南瓜,先到终点者获奖。比赛用的勺子越小,游戏就越有意思。
  除去这些活动外,有些家庭在节日里驱车到乡间去郊游,或是坐飞机出去旅行,特别是当年移民们安 家落户的地方——普利茅斯港更是游客们向往的所在。在那里,可以看到按照“五月花”号仿制的船和普利茅斯石,还可以花几个小时在移民村里参观。移民村是仿 照当年的样子建成的。参观时,还有专门人员扮成请教徒同游客们谈天,给人以身临其境的感觉。
  英国作家萨克雷说“生活就是一面镜子,你笑,它也笑;你哭,它也哭”
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