The Origin of Thanksgiving and 4 Best Traditions

A family having Thanksgiving dinner


Thanksgiving is a star of the holiday season. As a national holiday celebrated in the USA and Canada, millions of people look forward to it because of all of the warm and cosy feelings it brings to people. It goes without saying that a day just for giving thanks for all the blessings people have is so special. But what is the origin of this holiday? When did it all start? And what are the traditions of it? Let’s explore!

The origin of Thanksgiving is believed to go back to mid 17th century. The evidence of the earliest Thanksgiving celebrations goes back to 1609, after a period called “the starving times.” Yet, the premise of the first Thanksgiving alludes to the description of an event from 1621, which was observed in the oldest text during the first year the Plymouth Colony was established. The Wampanoag tribe’s English and Native American residents are believed to undergo a three-day harvest festival. Throughout the years, this celebration changed and became what we know now.

Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863. The campaign was started by Sarah Josepha Hale. Up until 1942, Abraham Lincoln and succeeding presidents declared a national day of thanksgiving every year. In other words, the date changed each year. However, in 1942, a federal declaration designated the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day.

Today, Thanksgiving is known as a celebration of the blessings obtained at the end of the harvest period. It is the favorite holiday of most people. There is a lot of meaning attributed to this holiday.

Thanksgiving Traditions

What makes this holiday so unique is, of course, all the traditions. At the end of the day, the traditions and rituals people perform make up the characteristics of a holiday. With those traditions, people can get in the mood for a holiday and experience heartwarming feelings. The following are some of the traditions of this precious holiday.

Thanksgiving Dinner

The first thing that comes to mind about this holiday, without a doubt, is food. Some traditional dishes are the musts of a Thanksgiving dinner table. Those include roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and Brussels sprouts. All of the delights must be shared with your family and loved ones!

See Also: 48 Traditional Dishes You Need For The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu


Expressing Gratitude

Another important tradition is expressing gratitude. When the entire family sat down for the traditional dinner, everyone at the table should express what they were grateful for. Expressing gratitude is an important ritual to be aware of how lucky we are and give thanks for all our blessings. It is super heart-warming to be able to hear what your loved ones are grateful for.


Black Friday takes place right after Thanksgiving, so shopping became another tradition for the time around Thanksgiving. As you may already know, during Black Friday, most shops and brands go crazy about discounts. You can purchase the things you need for maybe half of the price, or buy gifts for your loved ones as another way to show gratitude. It is a great time to stock for your home, too!

Helping Others

One part of Thanksgiving is to help those who are less fortunate than us. It is a great time to be the reason for a smile in someone’s face. This is an excellent time for donations. It is possible to help others through donations. Or perhaps, you can reach out to those who live nearby and give first-handed donations. Moreover, giving is a beautiful way of showing gratitude for what you have. So, do not forget to donate and help others during the Thanksgiving period.

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