Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in the United States as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations.
One of the best things about Thanksgiving is spending time with family. Many people live far from family members and travel long distances to be with their loved ones. Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year.
Traditional foods are a large part of Thanksgiving celebrations. Many families include the entire family in the food preparation. Traditional foods include turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Many people serve pie for dessert at the end of the meal. Popular pie flavors are pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, and apple.
Each year at Thanksgiving, the President of the United States receives a gift of a live turkey (along with an alternate in case something happens to the official turkey). At a White House ceremony, the president traditionally «pardons» the National Thanksgiving Turkey and the alternate turkeys, allowing them to live out the rest of their lives on a farm.
Many generous folks use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to help the less fortunate. Some people volunteer to serve food at homeless shelters on Thanksgiving Day.
Television also plays a part in Thanksgiving celebrations. Many families watch the New York City Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade includes marching bands, floats, songs and performances from Broadway musicals, and giant helium-filled balloons. People may also enjoy televised football games.
After the feast families often do additional activities. Some like to take walks after eating such a large meal. Some people take naps. Others sit down together to play board or card games.