Thanksgiving (with or without "s") or Thanksgiving (in English) is celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October and the U.S. on the fourth Thursday of November. Some countries celebrate it on other dates.
Historically a Christian holiday during which they thanked God in prayer and celebration, the happiness that you may have received during the year, this celebration has become secular in North America, governments and most businesses are closed that day.
For some Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a commemoration of the Indian wars.
Several versions have been raised about the origin of this American holiday and, in particular, the first celebration. While it is difficult, because of the few sources available, to be sure, a little disputed fact remains: the origin is different in the U.S. and Canada. The very first Thanksgiving were of the harvest festivals or occasions to thank God for plentiful crops. For this reason, Thanksgiving has always held in late fall, after the return of abundant harvests. So after September 21.
The origins of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to the English explorer Martin Frobisher, who was trying to find the northern passage to the Orient. In 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in the present territory of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. We consider this event as the first Canadian Thanksgiving, and the first ever held in North America. Frobisher was subsequently knighted and his name was given to Frobisher Bay.
At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the Atlantic Ocean and settled in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, also hold great celebrations to give thanks to God. They even formed "The Order of Good Cheer" and gladly shared their food with their native neighbors.
With the end of the Seven Years War in 1763 with the surrender of New France to Great Britain, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving.
After the American Revolution, American refugees who remained loyal (the Loyalists) in the United Kingdom were exiled from the United States and settled in Canada. They bring with them customs and traditions of the American Thanksgiving, though, as a liturgical feast, Thanksgiving in Canada is also the European harvest festival, the churches are decorated with horns abundance, pumpkins, corn, wheat and other crops at harvest, harvest hymns are sung on the Sunday of Thanksgiving and sermons are derived from biblical stories relating to the Jewish harvest festival ( the Sukkot).
The first Thanksgiving Day in Canada after Canadian Confederation is a holiday calendar which takes place April 5, 1872 to celebrate the restoration of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) after a serious illness. Before that date, days of Thanksgiving were observed beginning in 1799 but did not take place each year.
Beginning in 1879, the day of Thanksgiving comes every year but is proclaimed annually, the date may change from year to year. The theme of the festival changes from year to year to reflect an important event. In the early years, was for an abundant harvest and occasionally for a particularly important anniversary. After the First World War, Armistice Day and Thanksgiving Day are both celebrated on Monday the week of November 11. Ten years later, in 1931, two days became separate holidays and Armistice Day became Remembrance Day.
31 January 1957, the Parliament of Canada sets the date to the second Monday of October in permanently by a proclamation: "A day to give thanks to God Almighty benefits enjoyed by the people of Canada ... "
Origins in the U.S.
In 1620, hundreds of pilgrims British Puritans landed the Mayflower in Plymouth Bay in Massachusetts. They founded the Plymouth Colony and the town name. But the beginnings of colonization were difficult and half of the entrants perished from scurvy.
These owed their salvation to the intervention of an Indian named Squanto who with the help of his tribe, the Wampanoag, offered food to the English, then taught them to fish, hunt and grow corn.
To celebrate the first harvest in the fall of 1621, Governor William Bradford decreed three days of thanksgiving. The settlers invited the then leader Massasoit and 90 of his men to share their meal as thanks for their help. During this feast, wild turkeys and pigeons were offered.
Pilgrims held a celebration even bigger Thanksgiving in 1623, after a shift from agriculture to municipal and privatized agriculture after a larger harvest with the unexpected rain.
June 29, 1671, Charlestown (Mass.) held the first Thanksgiving that is decreed by government.
During the eighteenth century, the colonies were usually observed every year on Thanksgiving day. It was not a day marked by plentiful food and drink as is now customary, but rather a day of prayer and fasting.
During the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress appointed every year one or several days before Thanksgiving, every time recommending to the leaders of various states the observance of these days in their states. The first national Thanksgiving proclamation was issued by the Continental Congress in 1777.
As president, 3 October 1789, George Washington made the following proclamation and created the first Thanksgiving Day declared by the national government of the United States of America:
"By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor, and whereas both Houses me by their congressional Joint Committee requested to recommend to the People of the United States a public day of thanksgiving and prayer to be observed in recognition with grateful hearts the many signs of favor with God Almighty particularly their having given the means to establish a peaceful form of government for their safety and happiness.
So now I recommend and assign the first Thursday after the 26th day of November be devoted by the People of these States to the service of great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all that has been good, that it is and there will be. Then we can all unite in giving him our sincere and humble thanks for his kind care and protection of the people of this country before it became a nation, and multiple signs of pity, and the favorable interposition of Providence, we have experienced in the course and conclusion of the recent war, the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, we have since enjoyed, for the peaceful and reasonable way in which we were allowed to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the recently introduced national legislation for the civil and religious liberty which is a blessing and how we acquire and impart useful knowledge, and in general for all the great and various favors which he fortunately confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and seek to forgive our transgressions national and other transgressions, to enable us all, public office or private, fill our many respective duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a Government of wise laws, fair and constitutional, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and nations (especially those who showed kindness to us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote knowledge and practice of religion and virtue true, and more science among them and us, and generally to grant all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be the best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October each year of our Lord 1789."
George Washington proclaimed a Thanksgiving back in 1795. President John Adams declared Thanksgivings in 1798 and of 1799. James Madison renewed the tradition in 1814, in response to resolutions of Congress, after the War of 1812. In 1816, the Governor of New Hampshire appointed Plame Thursday, November 14 as a holiday and the Governor of Massachusetts appointed Brooks Thursday, November 28th to be "observed throughout this State as a day of Thanksgiving." A Thanksgiving Day was annually appointed by the Governor of the State of New York from 1817. In some Southern states there was opposition to the observance of such a day that was a relic of Puritan bigotry, but by 1858 proclamations appointing a day of Thanksgiving were issued by the governors of 25 states and 2 territories.
In the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, prompted by a series of editorials written by Sarah Josepha Hale proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on the last Thursday of November 1863. Since 1863, Thanksgiving was observed annually in the United States.
See also Austria-Hungary