When is Thanksgiving 2022? Date of the US holiday, the meaning behind it and where else it’s celebrated

when is thanksgiving 2022 date of the us holiday the meaning behind it and where else its celebrated

Most Americans will be gathering with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving, which is a holiday that is of equal, and sometimes greater, importance than Christmas.

Most people in the UK have a limited understanding of the festival, and those that do celebrate the holiday often hold images of happy pilgrims, friendly families and full dinner plates, however, Thanksgiving has a deep and contentious historic meaning.

When is Thanksgiving 2022?

Thanksgiving is usually celebrated on the third Thursday of every November, and so this year it will fall on Thursday 24 November, 2022.

This is because US president, Abraham Lincoln, proclaimed a regular national day of thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November in 1863.

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Why do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?

The origins of Thanksgiving can be traced back to September 1620, when a small ship (about the size of a bus) called the Mayflower left its dock in England carrying 102 pilgrims seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith.

They were drawn to America, then called the New World, by the promise of prosperity and the opportunity to own their own land.

In 1621, these colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn harvest feast that they had laboured together to produce – the first ever Thanksgiving celebration – in Plymouth, in modern-day Massachusetts.

It is said a Native American called Squanto was crucial to the survival of the pilgrims during their first year. He showed them how to grow corn, catch fish, avoid poisonous plants and extract sap from maple trees. He also helped them broker an alliance with the Wampanoag.

However, this was the only successful joining together of natives and colonists during this period, and many Native Americans believe Thanksgiving celebrations brush over a history which has often seen them persecuted and killed.

How is Thanksgiving celebrated?

Thanksgiving celebrations centre around food – and more specifically – turkey. A 2021 government poll found that nine in ten Americans eat turkey during Thanksgiving.

Turkey and cranberry sauce is a combination dating back to at least 1796, when it was mentioned in a cookbook, American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons – the first cookbook by an American to be published in the United States.

Another tradition sees the US President “pardoning” a live Thanksgiving turkey every year by sending them to a farm to live out the rest of their days instead of being sent to the slaughter.

Since the 1970s, many Native Americans and protesters instead mark the holiday as a “National Day of Mourning” to commemorate those who lost their lives at the hands of the foreign settlers when America was colonised.

Where is Thanksgiving celebrated?

Parades have become a big part of the holiday. Among the largest in the country is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City, which is held by the department store and attracts more than two million spectators every year – as well as a large television audience.

However, Thanksgiving is celebrated widely across the US and beyond.

The holiday is marked in various forms and on a variety of dates in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Grenada, the Netherlands, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia and Liberia – and similarly named holidays also occur in Germany and Japan.

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