Why is Thanksgiving a holiday?


Why is Thanksgiving a holiday?

Thanksgiving is a kind of harvest festival that is popularly celebrated in the countries of Canada and the United States. Although it started as a pagan festival, settlers from other places infused it with religious belief retaining its primary purpose of giving thanks to God and being appreciative to all the bounties and good harvest for the year that has passed. It is also the time of the year, before Christmas, that families get together to celebrate the happy occasion.

In Canada, Thanksgiving Day was first observed as a tradition through an English explorer Martin Frobisher. Although unsuccessful to attaining his original goal, he was able to establish a colony in North America. And in 1578, Frobisher held the first formal Canadian Thanksgiving ceremony in the province of Newfoundland to give thanks for his long and safe expedition to a new land. Settlers coming to the Newfoundland continued the tradition while changes have been made in the observance of the said festivity. January 31, 1957, an official proclamation from the Canadian Parliament declared that A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October”. This proclamation established the Thanksgiving Day as an official annual Canadian holiday.
Thanksgiving in the United States is somewhat similar to the observance of Thanksgiving Day in Canada. It was said that the gathering for the first thanksgiving” between American Natives and pilgrims happened in autumn of 1621. In 1863, President Lincoln legally proclaimed the annual celebration of Thanksgiving Day every last Thursday of November which is continually celebrated until now. The occasion was only made possible due to the efforts made by a magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale whose campaign for the recognition of Thanksgiving took her 40 years before it was actually put into law by the Congress.

Author: khristine

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