Thursday, November 26th, is Thanksgiving Day in America. Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays for Americans, second only to Christmas.
The first Thanksgiving was held by the Pilgrims in 1621. The Pilgrims were a group of people from England who came to America in 1620 and built a colony called Plymouth, on the north-east coast of the United States. Because the Pilgrims didn’t arrive in America until November, they didn’t have time to plant crops or build many homes before winter arrived. The first winter was very difficult for the Pilgrims. Many got sick, and 45 of the 102 Pilgrims died due to sickness, cold, and hunger.
In the spring, the Pilgrims met and made friends with the American Indians, who taught the Pilgrims new ways to farm, fish, and hunt. Thanks to the Indians’ help, the Pilgrims began to prosper. When autumn arrived, they had more than enough food to last through the coming winter. To celebrate, the Pilgrims had a huge feast, to give thanks to God and their new Indian friends. This was the first Thanksgiving.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Most people also have the following Friday off, so it is a four-day weekend holiday. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year to travel, as people fly or drive around the country to spend the holiday with their relatives.
Many cities hold parades on Thanksgiving Day. The most famous one is the Macy’s [Department Store] Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. People all over the country watch the parade on television. This parade is famous for its giant balloons of popular cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Snoopy. The last float in the parade carries Santa Claus, letting people know that the Christmas holiday season has begun. Most people consider the ‘holiday season’ to be the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Just like the first Thanksgiving, the most important thing about Thanksgiving is the meal itself, and for most people, the most important part of the meal is a turkey. In fact, a turkey is so important to Thanksgiving that a nickname for Thanksgiving is ‘Turkey Day.’ Other traditional Thanksgiving foods are corn, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.
Read and listen to this article about Thanksgiving. Then answer the following questions. You can print out this paper, or just write the answers in your notebook.
Thanksgiving Questions 1. When was the first Thanksgiving held?
2. When did the Pilgrims arrive in America?
3. Why did many Pilgrims die during their first winter in America?
4. Who taught the Pilgrims how to hunt?
5. When is Thanksgiving celebrated today?
6. Why is Thanksgiving such a busy time to travel?
7. Where is the most famous Thanksgiving parade?
8. Who is always on the last float during the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade?
9. When is the ‘holiday season’ in America?
10.What is another name for Thanksgiving?
The Story of Thanksgiving (EASY VERSION)
The Story of Thanksgiving (ADVANCED VERSION)