Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It became an official Federal holiday in 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. As a federal and public holiday in the U.S., Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas andNew Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought
The first documented thanksgiving services in territory currently belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards in the 16th century Thanksgiving services were routine in what was to become the Commonwealth of Virginia. with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia holding a thanksgiving in 1610.On December 4, 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred. The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a “day of thanksgiving” to God. On that first day, Captain John Woodlief held the service of thanksgiving. As quoted from the section of the Charter of Berkeley Hundred specifying the thanksgiving service: “We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” After the Indian massacre of 1622, the Berkeley Hundred site and other outlying locations were abandoned as the colonists withdrew to Jamestown and other more secure points.Americans commonly trace the Thanksgiving holiday to a 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the Plymouth settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. Autumn or early winter feasts continued sporadically in later years, first as an impromptu religious observance, and later as a civil tradition.Squanto, a Patuxent Native American who resided with the Wampanoag tribe, taught thePilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them (Squanto had learned English during travels in England). Additionally the Wampanoag leaderMassasoit had donated food stores to the fledgling colony during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient.The Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest, in 1621. Seventeenth-century accounts do not identify this as a Thanksgiving observance, rather it followed the harvest. Two colonists gave personal accounts of the 1621 feast inPlymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims, most of whom were Separatists (English Dissenters), are not to be confused with Puritans who established their ownMassachusetts Bay Colony nearby (current day Boston) in 1628 and had very different religious beliefs.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony (consisting mainly of Puritan Christians) celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time in 1630, and frequently thereafter until about 1680, when it became an annual festival in that colony; and Connecticut as early as 1639 and annually after 1647, except in 1675. The Dutch in New Netherland appointed a day for giving thanks in 1644 and occasionally thereafter.Later in the 18th century, individual colonies would periodically designate a day of thanksgiving in honor of a military victory, an adoption of a state constitution or an exceptionally bountiful crop. Such a Thanksgiving Day celebration was held in December 1777 by the colonies nationwide, commemorating the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga.During the 18th century, individual colonies commonly observed days of thanksgiving at different times of the year.
Thanksgivukkah is a holiday name portmanteau neologism given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Thursday, November 28, 2013 ]It is a result of a rare coincidence between the lunisolar Hebrew calendar (whose dates reflect both the moon phase and the time of the solar year, and which can have between 353 and 385 days per year) and the Gregorian calendar. Because the calendars are not calculated the same way, Chanukah appears at a different time each year on the Gregorian calendar.The term “Thanksgivukkah” was trademarked by a Boston-area resident who, along with her sister-in-law, created a Facebook page and a Twitter account devoted to the phenomenon. Boston Magazine reported that the once-in-a-lifetime concept was embraced around the U.S