Thanksgiving is a very special holiday in the United States. Families and friends gather together to share a delicious meal and more importantly to recognize and be grateful for all the people and all the good things in their lives. Let’s find out more about this wonderful holiday. Thanksgiving Day is a US national holiday that is celebrated every fourth Thursday of November. Americans typically believe that the first Thanksgiving was held in 1621 by Plymouth pilgrims to celebrate the annual harvest and to thank the Native Americans for helping them start new lives in America. Thanksgiving never used to be a national holiday. At first, Thanksgiving would be celebrated as a day of thanking God for blessings such as winning a war or the end of a period of drought. In the mid-19th century, before the American Civil War, Sarah Josepha Hale started campaigning for a national Thanksgiving holiday. She believed it could help reduce the tension and division between the US north and south at that time. Finally in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared that thanksgiving would be celebrated nationally on Thursday, November 26. Since then every US president would set a November date for Thanksgiving. Later on in 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of every year. Over time, Thanksgiving became more than just a day of thanking God for blessings. As family members started living farther apart from one another, Thanksgiving became a time for family members to get together. It also became more non-religious and became a day of general thankfulness for all the good in life. Today there are Thanksgiving Day football games and parades that are televised across the US. Another popular activity is volunteering. Many communities have food drives and free dinners for those who are less fortunate. Though Thanksgiving originated with the Pilgrims and native Americans, it now celebrates the importance of family as well as intercultural peace. Moreover, Thanksgiving is also celebrated in Canada, Grenada, the Philippines, Saint Lucia, Liberia and the Netherlands. So what food does the Thanksgiving feast include? The centerpiece of the meal is always a roast turkey. Other dishes traditionally served include bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn and pumpkin pie, to name a few. Whatever food is served at Thanksgiving there will be a lot and it is always delicious. If you are in the US in November enjoy this wonderful holiday and take the time to appreciate all of the people in your life and all the good things you have going for you!