The origins of Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1621 when English pilgrims landed on the shores of Plymouth, Massachusetts after a long journey on the Mayflower. Faced with a harsh winter, the pilgrims formed alliances with the Wampanoag people, leading to a three day feast that celebrated their successful harvest and the unity between the two communities.
While the feast in Plymouth was a historical moment, it wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. The day was designated as a time for Americans to give thanks for their blessings and come together in the spirit of gratitude.
While Thanksgiving is not a globally recognized holiday, it transcends borders. Surprisingly, many countries celebrate this holiday, including Canada, Liberia, South India, Ghana, Japan, Brazil, Germany, and The Netherlands. This holiday takes on alternate variations in different countries; for instance, Canadian Thanksgiving occurs on the second Monday of October, whereas Liberia celebrates it on the first Thursday of November.
It is important to note that in many countries, expressions of gratitude for the harvest season are embedded in cultural or religious celebrations, even if they don’t specifically mirror the American Thanksgiving traditions. Each country has its own unique traditions and ways of giving thanks for the abundance of life.