Thanksgiving Day emerged in 17th century on the east coast of the country. Majority of settlers arriving by ship «Mayflower» in the end of 1620 didn`t come through a harsh winter. Several tens of survivors together with local Indians committed a lot of time and effort to get a good harvest on such a severe land and their strivings were richly rewarded. They prayed for rain and got it.
In honour of this event Governor of the colony William Bradford suggested to arrange a holiday to which representatives of friendly Indian tribe had been invited. The holiday continued for three days. It was the first day of thanksgiving but colonists not only didn`t give it such a name but also were not planning to turn it into a tradition. The holiday was celebrated one year after concerned about drought colonists set foot in America. During next years the holiday was celebrated in various states on different days. Over time military successes of Americans became good reasons to celebrate this day. After a great while the holiday became single for American nation; only in 1777 it was celebrated in all 13 colonies of the country for the first time. In 1789 George Washington officially claimed National Thanksgiving Day but only in 1863 president Abraham Lincoln defined the date of Thanksgiving Day`s celebration as a national holiday – last Thursday of November.
Traditional dishes of Americans for this day are turkey (in different variants of cooking), pumpkin pie, maize dishes – all these meals were presented on tables of colonists in 17th century. Tradition of songs writing for Thanksgiving Day estimates more than a century whereas another tradition – organizing an annual parade in honour of this day has been going on for 80 years. One of the new traditions of the holiday is watching of a match of NFL teams.
All family members necessarily should go to a church and after church service they gather at a festive table. On the Eve of Thanksgiving Day people carry out charitable activities: they try to feed and please people who hadn`t the good fortune in life. Even at underground stations special tables are set up where everyone interested can put his donations including food. Charity organizations hand out collected gifts to people in need.
On this day houses are decorated with autumn attributes – bouquets made of orange, golden, brown chrysanthemums and branches with berries which are associated with a rich harvest of current year.