What does Thanksgiving mean? English origins, traditions and vocabulary
Thanksgiving 2022: tradition, origins, American English vocabulary But what exactly does Thanksgiving mean? This 100% American party is very popular. Deepen your vocabulary in English while discovering this little-known festival in France and yet so rich culturally, historically and culinary!
Do you know Thanksgiving?
Did you know that for many Americans, this holiday is the most important of the year? Thanksgiving comes from the word “Thanks”, which of course means, thank you. At Thanksgiving, everyone tries to be “thankful”, that is to say thankful / grateful, for what we have: a family, friends, an interesting job, health or simply good things to eat!
What does the word Thanksgiving mean?
As we said, in Thanksgiving, there is first thanks, which means thank you, but then there is giving, from the verb to give – to give. The word “Thanksgiving” therefore literally means thank you for giving… In reality, it should rather be understood as “thank you for what was given to me, thank you for what I received”. Thanksgiving refers to what we can be thankful for, what we rejoice for, what we want to say thank you for. By taking a little tour of the side of history, we will better understand the deep meaning of this term and, therefore, of this so pretty celebration…
What is the history of Thanksgiving?
In the 17th century, various peoples of England suffering from religious oppression left the country. They were called pilgrims. They traveled a long time, half of them died during the very cold winter they had to endure and, finally, only a hundred of them arrived in America.
In the spring, with the help of the American Indians, the survivors learned to grow plants, vegetables, trees, and the following fall they had plenty of food to feed all the people. They were very happy and grateful (thankful). To thank the Indians, they organized a very big dinner that lasted three days!
Pilgrims and Indians shared and appreciated this good moment of solidarity, conviviality and friendship. This day is considered the first “Thanksgiving Day”. It was in 1621 and, since then, every year, on the same date, the American people, in memory of this beautiful day, celebrate Thanksgiving.
When and where is Thanksgiving celebrated?
Since 1621 in the United States, Thanksgiving has been celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving is also celebrated in Canada every year, but on a different date, the second Monday in October.
How is it in the United States?
Thanksgiving is truly a food-related holiday. Historically, everything is linked to the idea of the harvest, of the food that allows us to survive and live. At Thanksgiving, in remembrance, we spend a lot of time enjoying good food! Dinner (very hearty) is the center of the celebration. We spend a lot of time at the table during the few Thanksgiving days off.
On the table, we find seasonal harvest products: corn, beans, squash, sweet potatoes, onions, green salad, spinach … but also cranberries, pecans (pecans), ham, without forgetting of course the traditional turkey of Thanksgiving!
Spending time with family and friends
In memory of history, Thanksgiving is a time of sharing, solidarity, friendship, conviviality, love… Thanksgiving is also thinking about what we have, being grateful, and refocusing on what is important. Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday, but it does have spiritual underpinnings.
Some Americans travel across the country to be with their families on this day. For many, Thanksgiving is the only time of year when all family members get together. This is why this holiday is so important. For Americans, Thanksgiving is an even bigger holiday than Christmas.
Helping others: Many Americans take advantage of Thanksgiving to give time to others. Many organizations and associations provide meals for the elderly, the homeless and the poor.
Football: Thanksgiving is an opportunity to watch football matches with loved ones. Some major university games are even broadcast on national television for the occasion of Thanksgiving.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade 2022: Many Americans also like to watch the Thanksgiving parade, on TV or in town. Department stores (big stores) in several major cities organize these parades. The best known is Macy’s in New York which is huge and very famous for its magnificent floats, huge flying balloons and celebrities.
The day after Thanksgiving is always a Friday, since Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November. This Friday is called Black Friday, probably the biggest sales day of the year, in all American stores. More and more, Black Friday sales go beyond Friday alone and extend to the whole week after.