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Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks to God for the harvest and express gratitude to others for our many blessings. While historically religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.

The "First" Thanksgiving?

The date and location of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention. The traditional "first Thanksgiving" is the celebration that occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621. The Plymouth celebration occurred early in the history of what would become one of the original thirteen colonies that became the United States. However, there was another, more modest Thanksgiving at Berkeley Plantationmarker, Virginia on the banks of the James River in 1619. The celebration became an important part of the American myth by the 1800s. This Thanksgiving, modeled after celebrations that were commonplace in contemporary Europe, is generally regarded as America's first.Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United Statesmarker and on the second Monday of October in Canadamarker.Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members and friends.


United States


In Grenadamarker there is a national holiday of Thanksgiving Day on 25 October. It is unrelated to holidays in Canada and the United States even though it bears the same name and occurs around the same time. It marks the anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of the island in 1983 in response to the deposition and execution of Grenadan Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.


A Thanksgiving Day service is held in Hooglandse Kerkmarker to commemorate the hospitality the Pilgrims received in Leiden on their way to the New World.


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