Turkey, pumpkin pie, American football and giant balloons. It’s the fourth Thursday in November. It’s Thanksgiving. But what exactly is Thanksgiving Day?
Many years ago, in the 1600s, a group of people left England and sailed on a ship called the Mayflower on a pilgrimage to the New World. The Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, after a long six-week journey at sea. It was a cold winter and the Pilgrims found it difficult in their new home. Fortunately, the Native Americans gave them food and taught them how to plant seeds. With the Native Americans’ help, the Pilgrims planted lots of crops and that autumn’s harvest was a good one. They celebrated their good fortune by having a feast of thanksgiving.
Today, Thanksgiving has become a traditional time to get together with family or friends. Food, drink and giving thanks are still part of the festival. People also enjoy other activities, like watching American football or going to a parade. The biggest parade is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade that takes place in New York. The parade includes marching bands, floats, songs and performances from Broadway musicals, and giant helium-filled balloons. Another tradition is the Turkey Pardon. The President receives a gift of a live turkey. At a White House ceremony, the President pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey, allowing it to live for the rest of its life on a farm.
-Read the text and find words with the following meanings:
- a journey made for religious reasons
- plants that are grown in large quantities, especially as food
- a large or special meal, especially for a lot of people and to celebrate something
- a public celebration of a special day or event, usually with bands in the streets and decorated vehicles
- an area of land for growing food or keeping animals
Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of the United States Christmas shopping season since 1952. The term “Black Friday” did not become widely used until more recent decades, during which time global retailers have adopted the term and date to market their own holiday sales.
Many stores offer highly promoted sales on Black Friday and open very early, such as at midnight, or may even start their sales at some time on Thanksgiving. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe “The Day After Thanksgiving” as a holiday for state government employees.
The term Cyber Monday, a neologism invented in 2005 by the National Retail Federation’s division Shop.org, refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday based on a trend that retailers began to recognize in 2003 and 2004. Retailers noticed that many consumers, who were too busy to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend or did not find what they were looking for, shopped for bargains online that Monday from home or work.
Now you can do these quizzes: