Thanksgiving Day

Celebrated on a fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada, Thanksgiving is a national holiday. Apart from these two major states there are some other nations where this day is observed to give thanks for the preceding year's harvest.

  • The beginnings of this festival in Canada can be dated back to the seventeenth century French settlers who on the occasion of having a good harvest celebrated this day and shared the food with the natives. Similarly in the U.S, Thanksgiving was brought along with the English Puritan immigrants who as believed by the historians celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621.

  • Nowadays however, this festival has become an opportunity for families and friends to get together and spend some quality time with each other. In the U.S it is more of a four day long weekend, where people get off from work and travel from distant places to have dinner with their close ones.

  • The celebrations and practices of Thanksgiving include coming together of family members and friends in large numbers to have a Thanksgiving dinner with Turkey being the inevitable dish. Other traditional Thanksgiving delicacies include cranberry sauce, pecan pie, Brussels sprouts, etc.

  • Thanksgiving Dates

    Year U.S. Thanksgiving Canadian Thanksgiving
    2014 Thursday, November 27 Monday, October 13
    2015 Thursday, November 26 Monday, October 12
    2016 Thursday, November 24 Monday, October 10
    2017 Thursday, November 23 Monday, October 9
    2018 Thursday, November 22 Monday, October 8
    2019 Thursday, November 28 Monday, October 14
    2020 Thursday, November 26 Monday, October 12
    2021 Thursday, November 25 Monday, October 11
    2022 Thursday, November 24 Monday, October 10

    Thanksgiving – United States

    It's been celebrated every year since 1863, when US President Abraham Lincoln declared this as a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", during the Civil War. However, the event 'First Thanksgiving', as called by the Americans dates further back to 1621 when the pilgrims celebrated it I the 'New World' after their first harvest.

    Thanksgiving – United States


    US Holidays in 2017

    Day Date Holiday
    Sun Jan 01, 2017 New Year's Day
    Mon Jan 16, 2017 M L King Day
    Tue Feb 14, 2017 Valentine's Day
    Mon Feb 20, 2017 Presidents' Day
    Fri Apr 14, 2017 Good Friday
    Sun Apr 16, 2017 Easter Sunday
    Sun May 14, 2017 Mother's Day
    Mon May 29, 2017 Memorial Day
    Sun Jun 18, 2017 Father's Day
    Tue Jul 04, 2017 Independence Day
    Mon Sep 04, 2017 Labor Day
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 Columbus Day
    Tue Oct 31, 2017 Halloween
    Sat Nov 11, 2017 Veterans Day
    Thu Nov 23, 2017 Thanksgiving Day
    Mon Dec 25, 2017 Christmas

    Thanksgiving – Canada

    The origin of Canadian Thanksgiving can be trace back to 1578 when explorer Martin Frobisher on his voyage from England to Pacific Ocean in search of a northern passage to reach the latter, held the Thanksgiving celebration. This, he did not for the good harvest but to survive the dangerous icebergs and storms on the course of his journey.

    Thanksgiving – Canada

    Present Day Celebrations

    It makes up for the day of friends and family reunion wherein they all spend a good time together over a special meal. The day is synonyms with fun & entertainment, gifting, community praying and family feasting. Turkey is the main dish of the meal along with some other cooked delicacies. After a great meal, people indulge themselves in various entertaining activities like playing charades, watching a movie, taking family pictures, etc.

    Traditionally renowned as a harvest festival, people basically express their gratefulness towards God and thank him for all what they possess in life and seek his divine blessings, apart from thanking him for a bountiful harvest.

    Thanksgiving parades are a common site across some cities and towns in United Sates, held on this day. People go frenzy over shopping and eating out at restaurants is an inherent part of Thanksgiving Day celebration. Also, football matches are closely associated with the celebration and are organized every year during this time. Americans also consider the Thanksgiving weekend to be the beginning of Christmas season.

    Gaiety and rapture occupies the hearts of the people during Thanksgiving celebrations. Both kids and adults look forward for the Grandeur feasts to be prepared on this festive occasion.

    Present Day Celebrations

    Some Special Facts & Notes

    • It's not a day of celebration for one and all. A group of Native Americans stage a protest for National Day of Morning at Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, Massachusetts on Thanksgiving Day. It's been done every year since 1970.
    • American Indian Heritage Day (also known as Native American Heritage Day), is observed in United States on the Friday after the Thanksgiving Day. It is observed in the honor of rich history, cultural heritage and inevitable contributions of American Indians to United States. This day is recognized as a State holiday in some states, for example Maryland.
    • The first main Thanksgiving, traced back to 1623, was observed by the pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts, when they thanked the rain which ended a long period of drought. During these old times, the day was observed in the form of special church services and not feasts.
    • George Washington, the first president of the United States, proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day in 1789.

    Thanksgiving Activities

    Thanksgiving Day is one of the most significant festivals celebrated in the United States and Canada. On this day people express their thanks to God for the bountiful of harvest and for what they have in life. In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday and is observed on the fourth Thursday of November. The day provides people with the opportunity to catch up with family members and friends. People also take part in a number of activities or they just relax and enjoy each other's company. The day also marks the unofficial beginning of the holiday season.

    A number of Thanksgiving Day activities are observed on this day. Some of theses include:

    Thanksgiving Feast

    The first celebration of the bountiful harvest was a grand dinner organized by the pilgrims in 1621 in Plymouth. Hence, Thanksgiving became a day for food and feast. The Thanksgiving dinner is a large meal comprising various dishes. Turkey is the main dish of the feast. People usually organize Thanksgiving dinners at their place and invite all their family members and friends to enjoy the feast.

    Thanksgiving Feast

    Thanksgiving Day Football

    Thanksgiving is unthinkable without the turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and, of course, Thanksgiving Day Football. Americans love football and this becomes all the more evident on Thanksgiving Day when exciting matches are held between schools, colleges and rival sports clubs. Once a tradition among the American high schools and colleges, Thanksgiving Day Football is today played by the NFL as well. In NFL's two franchisee cities, Detroit and Dallas, Thanksgiving Day Football has become a part of Thanksgiving Day activities.

    Thanksgiving Day Football

    Thanksgiving Day Race

    This Thanksgiving Day, exercise your muscles by taking part in the Thanksgiving Day Race. It is an ideal sport and is not only exciting but is also healthy and good for your heart. It would surely give a perfect start to your day. People of all ages can take part in the race.

    Thanksgiving Day Race

    Thanksgiving Parade

    Macy's Thanksgiving Parade has been enthralling spectators for over 90 years. The first parade was held in 1924 and since then it has become a mega spectacle. Held in New York, the parade is a three-hour event and begins at nine in the morning. The parade is truly a magical experience for both children and adults.

    Thanksgiving Parade

    Organize a pumpkin hunt

    This is an exciting game that you can play at home. Take a pumpkin or two and hide them at convenient places in your house, garden or backyard. Tell the kids and other family members to search for the pumpkins. Whoever finds out the location of the pumpkins first gets to keep the prize.

    Get creative and prepare a thanksgiving wreath

    Thanksgiving Day is all about thanking God for all that you have. The best way to express your gratitude is to prepare a fabulous Thanksgiving wreath. This is fun and creative! Get a few autumn leaves, paper, glue and get down to making the wreath. Once done, hang the wreath on your door or porch and awe your neighbors and friends.

    Play Boardgames

    Invite your friends and cousins to your home for rounds of exciting indoor games. There are a number of games out there in the market which are fun to play. Some of these include Scrabble, Yahtzee, Chutes & Ladders, Trivial Pursuit, among others.

    Thanksgiving Decoration

    Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by the natives of America and Canada. The First Thanksgiving was celebrated as a mark of gratitude to Jesus for the first corn harvest in the New World in the month of November in 1621. It was after the American Revolution in 1789 that George Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday to express gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence.

    Decoration Ideas

    Decorations add the essence of festivity to any celebration. Here are a few ideas for making your Thanksgiving even more beautiful:

    • Install a white board at the entrance with colourful paper cutting in the shape of the fall leaves. The guests can write what they are grateful for in these.

    • You can hand a fall wreath at the door of your entrance and a spot within the room. These wreaths are easily available in the market.

    • Door wreaths

    • Keep dry and fresh orange flower arrangements at random points in your drawing room, including the mantel piece.

    • Place the photographs of the loved ones attending the Thanksgiving on the mantel piece.

    • Candles are symbolic of hope and prayer. Get out your candlesticks and place them at different points in the room with lit up candles.

    • If you have a fireplace, be sure to place the logs and light a fire.

    • Hollow out turnips and pumpkins and use them as candle holders. They will add a nice aura to the room.

    • Make a basket out of a large pumpkin for flower arrangements.

    • Make crudités' (appetizers) cups with different coloured cabbage leaves tied around it.

    Table Centrepiece Ideas

    Decorations add the essence of festivity to any celebration. Here are a few ideas for making your Thanksgiving even more beautiful:

    • Place golden painted pumpkins as a centrepiece

    • A wooden crate with all the vegetables of the harvest season will make a beautiful and a rustic centrepiece.

    • pumpkins as a centrepiece

    • You can take a large round candle, tie corn cobs all around it and place it on the centre with the candle lit up.

    • Keep a wicker basket with pines, acorns and fruits with a lit candle in the middle.

    • centrepiece

    • Tie the table napkins with long threads made out of sage leaves. They will also smell nice.

    • You can place corkboard leaf shaped coasters on the table.

    • Use painted glass cylinders as candle holders on the table.

    • You can mark the place settings at the table with the names of your guests on small chits sticking out of nuts.

    Thanksgiving is the time to show gratitude towards the blessings we receive. Here is to wishing you a very beautiful Thanksgiving.

    7 Best Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

    Fried Turkey

    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • (12- to 14-pound) fresh turkey
    • Peanut oil (about 3 gallons)
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika


    • Stir together first 6 ingredients.

    • Remove giblets and neck from turkey, and discard.
    • Drain cavity well; pat entire turkey dry with paper towels.
    • Loosen and lift skin from turkey with fingers, without totally detaching skin; generously spread seasoning under skin.
    • Carefully replace skin and secure with wooden picks, if desired.
    • Sprinkle and rub remaining seasoning inside cavity and on outside of turkey.
    • Let turkey stand at room temperature while oil heats.
    • Meanwhile, pour oil into a deep propane turkey fryer 10 to 12 inches from top heat to 350 degrees F over a medium-low flame, according to manufacturer's instructions (about 45 minutes).
    • Place turkey on fryer rod. Carefully and slowly lower turkey into hot oil with rod attachment.
    • Fry 35 to 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 165 degrees F (about 3 minutes per pound plus an additional 5 minutes.
    • Keep oil temperature between 300 degrees F and 325 degrees F).
    • Remove turkey from oil drain and let stand 25 minutes before slicing.

    Pumpkin Pie Dip

    Pumpkin Pie Dip
    • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • Gingersnap cookies
    • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


    • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth.
    • Beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger until blended.
    • Serve with gingersnaps.

    Breaded Pork Chops

    Breaded Pork Chops
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup 2% milk
    • 1-1/2 cups crushed saltine crackers
    • 6 boneless pork loin chops (1-inch thick and 4 ounces each)
    • 1/4 cup canola oil


    • In a shallow bowl, combine egg and milk.
    • Place cracker crumbs in another shallow bowl.
    • Dip each pork chop in egg mixture, then coat with cracker crumbs, patting to make a thick coating.
    • In a large skillet, cook chops in oil for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145°.
    • Let meat stand for 5 minutes before serving.

    Beef-Stuffed Zucchini

    Beef-Stuffed Zucchini
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 cup (4 ounces)
    • 4 medium zucchini
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 3/4 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce


    • Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut a thin slice from the bottom of each with a sharp knife to allow zucchini to sit flat.
    • Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-in. shells.
    • Place shells in an ungreased 3-qt. microwave-safe dish.
    • Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside.
    • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
    • Remove from the heat; stir in the marinara sauce, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon about 1/4 cup into each shell.
    • Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
    • Microwave 3-4 minutes longer or until a thermometer inserted into filling reads 160° and zucchini are tender.
    • Serve with additional marinara sauce.

    Citrus Butter Roasted Turkey

    Citrus Butter Roasted Turkey
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 2 celery ribs, chopped
    • Kitchen string
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 1 cup low-sodium turkey or chicken broth
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 lemon
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 shallot, chopped
    • 8 large sage leaves, torn
    • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 tsp rosemary leaves
    • 1 clove(s) garlic
    • 1 (12- to 14-pound) fresh whole turkey
    • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges


    • Zest and juice lemon to equal 3 tablespoons into the bowl of a food processor; add butter and next 5 ingredients.
    • Process until very smooth and herbs are minced. Reserve and chill 1/4 cup herb butter.
    • Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
    • Remove giblets and neck from turkey and discard. Drain cavity well; pat dry with paper towels.
    • Loosen and lift skin from turkey breast without totally detaching skin.
    • Rub 3 tablespoons herb butter under skin; replace skin and secure with wooden picks if desired.
    • Sprinkle cavity and outside of turkey with desired amount of salt and freshly ground pepper.
    • Arrange onion and next 2 ingredients in a large roasting pan.
    • Place turkey, breast side up, on a lightly greased roasting rack in pan.
    • Tie ends of legs together with kitchen string; tuck wingtips under. Rub entire turkey with remaining herb butter.
    • Pour wine and chicken broth into roasting pan.
    • Bake on lowest oven rack at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes.
    • Reduce temperature to 325 degrees F and cook 2 to 2 hours 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 165 degrees F, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices.
    • Shield with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, if necessary.
    • Remove from oven, and let stand 20 minutes.
    • Transfer turkey to a serving platter.
    • Pour drippings through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding solids.
    • Reserve 2 1/2 cups pan drippings.
    • Melt reserved chilled butter in a saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes.
    • Gradually add reserved 2 1/2 cups drippings to saucepan, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
    • Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened. Serve turkey with gravy.

    Squash-Rice Casserole

    Squash-Rice Casserole
    • 1 cup fat-free sour cream
    • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
    • 1/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 8 cups sliced zucchini(about 2 1/2 pounds)
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 cups cooked rice
    • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese


    • Preheat oven to 350°.
    • Combine first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil.
    • Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender.
    • Drain; partially mash with a potato masher.
    • Combine zucchini mixture, rice, cheddar cheese, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and eggs in a bowl; stir gently.
    • Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
    • Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
    • Preheat broiler. Broil 1 minute or until lightly browned.

    Herb-Roasted Turkey with Cheese Grits

    • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 (12-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 2 lemons, each cut in half
    • 12 thyme sprigs
    • 1 rosemary sprig
    • 1 sage sprig
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic


    • Preheat oven to 350°.
    • Remove leaves from thyme sprigs to measure 2 tablespoons chopped; reserve stems.
    • Remove leaves from rosemary sprig to measure 2 tablespoons chopped; reserve stem.
    • Remove the leaves from sage sprig to measure 2 tablespoons chopped; reserve stem.
    • Combine the chopped thyme, chopped rosemary, chopped sage, garlic, shallots, and pepper in a small bowl.
    • Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey.
    • Rinse turkey with cold water, and pat dry. Trim excess fat.
    • Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.
    • Rub herb mixture under loosened skin and sprinkle in body cavity.
    • Drizzle lemon juice over skin. Place reserved stems and lemon halves in body cavity. Tie ends of legs with cord.
    • Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey.
    • Place turkey on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray or on a rack set in a shallow roasting pan.
    • Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone.
    • Bake at 350° for 3 hours or until thermometer registers 180°. (Cover turkey loosely with foil if it gets too brown.)
    • Remove turkey from oven.
    • Cover loosely with foil let stand 10 minutes before carving. Discard skin.
    • Serve with Cheese Grits.
    • Last Updated: 22nd November, 2017