American Thanksgiving commemorates pilgrims from England surviving their first brutal New England winter with the help of Native Americans. During the winter of 1620 most of the pilgrims stayed on the Mayflower where half of the 102 passengers died from scurvy and exposure. When they came ashore in spring, they were greeted by English speaking natives from the Abenaki and Pawtuxet tribes who showed them how to hunt, fish and farm. That fall, the Pilgrims invited their new found friends for a three day long feast which probably included deer, lobster, fish, and all types of fowl.

About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Because of the longstanding traditions of the holiday, the celebration often extends to the weekend that falls closest to the day it is celebrated. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Historically, Thanksgiving had roots in religious and cultural tradition. Today, Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated as a secular holiday. Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. The holiday's history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation.

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