What is thanksgiving about?
Each year, on the last Thursday in November, the American and Canadian community gather together in their homes to celebrate all they are thankful for.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated to give thanks for the blessing of harvest. It is also important to note that Thanksgiving is thought to be just as important as the Christmas holidays by many Americans and Canadians!
How is it celebrated?
Macy’s, a popular american department store, organise an annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York that is attended by over 3 million people and broadcast live on national television. This a tradition that has continued for over 80 years, won numerous awards and is seen by more than 50 million fans across the world each year!
American football is always a favourite on Thanksgiving. This year the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Detroit Lions (5.30pm GMT / 12.30pm EST) followed by the Carolina Panthers vs the Dallas Cowboys (9.30pm GMT / 4.30pm EST).
And how can we forget the food! Roast turkey with stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, buttered rolls, gravy, green beans, and squash are just some of the delights you can expect to see, likely to be topped off with a cold refreshing beverage and a helping of candied yams or pumpkin pie!
The history of Thanksgiving dates back to 1620, when a ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers on an adventure to the New World. In November 1621, the Pilgrims successfully harvested their first crop of corn, so Governor William Bradford organised a celebratory feast. Both Europeans and Native Americans attended, and it’s now thought of as the first Thanksgiving, lasting three days. In 1846, author Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned for Thanksgiving to be recognised as a national holiday. This campaign lasted 17 years and before the letter she wrote to President Lincoln was successful. In 1863 legislation was passed which established a national holiday of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November every year.
Black Friday lands on the Friday following Thanksgiving. This a day where retailers reduce prices to extreme levels allowing for massive discounts in an effort to increase sales. This has been a huge hit in america for a while and is moving abroad with certain brands based in the UK taking part – kick-starting the holiday shopping season.
Black Friday is a controversial event. Chaos is caused in department stores throughout the country as bargain hunters scramble to get their most desired products before another shopper snaps them up! So it doesn’t come as a surprise that accidents are common.
However, Cyber Monday has started to become a trend in many nations. The first Monday after Thanksgiving sees prices from on-line retailers fall, this obviously being a less stressful way to shop but hurry while stocks last as it has been said that Cyber Monday is becoming more popular than Black Friday!
So if you are thinking of travelling out to america this holiday season you may require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) but don’t worry, you’re in luck! We can help you with your visa/ESTA application!
To find out if you are eligible, or for any more information regarding travelling to the US visit our website:
“give thanks for a little and you will find a lot”
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