Q:

How do people celebrate Thanksgiving?

A:

Quick Answer

In the United States, people celebrate Thanksgiving with food, family, helping others and engaging in live or televised entertainment. Thanksgiving in the U.S. falls on the fourth Thursday in November, and recurs annually. Generally, people view Thanksgiving as a family-oriented event and begin holiday celebrations on Thanksgiving Thursday, although some families extend the celebration for longer.

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How do people celebrate Thanksgiving?
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Full Answer

Thanksgiving is historically the busiest travel holiday of the year. Each year, Americans travel to visit family members in cars, trains and by plane. Thanksgiving does not center around religious traditions, and instead emphasizes family and harvests. The Thanksgiving holiday revolves around food, which often includes a variety of traditional items. Dinner typically includes a turkey, along with mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. This meal concludes with the breaking of a wishbone and making a wish. Sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and cornbread often accompany the meal. Desserts, primarily apple, pumpkin, pecan and sweet potato pies, follow decadent dinners. Families abstaining from meat and vegetarians substitute traditional meats with items, such as tofu, salads and other fruits and vegetables. While families dine privately, Thanksgiving contains public ceremonies and traditions, too. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, for instance, takes place in New York City every year. Additionally, the U.S. President participates in a turkey pardon, which involves receiving a live turkey and allowing it to go free.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Which countries celebrate Thanksgiving?

    A:

    Aside from America, the nations of Liberia and Canada, the Australian territory of Norfolk Island and the unincorporated American territory of Puerto Rico are known to celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday every year. Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving in October, Liberia commemorates this occasion in early November, and Puerto Rico celebrates at the same time as the continental United States.

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  • Q:

    When is Thanksgiving?

    A:

    In the United States, Thanksgiving occurs on the fourth Thursday in November and has been celebrated at this time since 1939. Prior to then, Thanksgiving was celebrated on the last Thursday of November.

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  • Q:

    What day is Thanksgiving on?

    A:

    Thanksgiving is observed in the United States every year on the fourth Thursday of November. This date was set by Congress on Dec. 26, 1941. The earliest possible date for Thanksgiving is Nov. 22, and the latest possible date is Nov. 28.

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  • Q:

    Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?

    A:

    Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States as a national holiday dedicated to being with family and friends to give thanks for all of the blessings received throughout the previous year. The holiday is believed to have been celebrated first in 1621 when the Plymouth settlers enjoyed a fall feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest with the local Wampanoag Indians.

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