Thanksgiving may not get the kind of attention given to the two major holidays that it is sandwiched between – Halloween and Christmas – but it remains an extremely important day nonetheless, particularly in the hectic lives of the average American. Thanksgiving is a time to sit back and relax, go to a movie or a football game, and indulge in a big feast.
Thanksgiving is also traditionally seen as a time for Americans to give their thanks to God for what he has given both to them personally and to their country. The very first Thanksgiving was celebrated back in 1621 between the Indians and the Pilgrims, with the feast lasting no less than three days. Life was very difficult for the early settlers and the fall harvest was viewed as an opportunity for celebration and to thank God for giving them a good crop.
This early celebration was the beginning of the holiday celebration that is still enjoyed today and continues to be celebrated with an enormous feast. The great majority of Americans today enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings, including a wide array of foods that are seen as traditional for individual families; many of these replicate those consumed at the very first Thanksgiving.
American Thanksgiving traditions generally revolve around a large and lavish meal, generally with turkey at the center. A special prayer of thanks comes before the meal in many families, and family members tend to give their thanks for something in particular.