America thanks God for what they have by celebrating Thanksgiving on November 24, 2016. Thanksgiving is an annual tradition in the United States, which since 1863 is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. During Thanksgiving Day families and friends usually gather for a large meal. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year in the US, and therefore flights and hotels are very expensive around this time. Thanksgiving is at least four-day weekend vacation for schools and colleges. Most business and government workers are given Thanksgiving and the day after (Black Friday) as paid holidays. As people reunite with friends and family at Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Eve - the night before Thanksgiving - is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars and clubs.
It also is a Thanksgiving tradition to begin the Thanksgiving dinner by saying a prayer. Also various religious and spiritual organizations offer services and events on Thanksgiving. In New York City (Manhattan), the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held annually. This huge celebration is televised nationally and features popular large balloons of cartoon characters and TV personalities. The Santa Claus float traditionally ends the Thanksgiving Parade, as this holiday is unofficially the sign for the beginning of the Christmas season. On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, people start buying their Christmas gifts.
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated to give thanks to God for helping the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony survive the cold winter that year. The feast lasted for three days. Today many people serve mashed or sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving Day. A note of the Governor of Plymouth Colony regarding the turkeys that were eaten during the very first Thanksgiving celebration, probably gave rise to the tradition of having turkey at Thanksgiving: A turkey is the featured item on nearly any Thanksgiving feast table all over the country. The day unofficially often is referred to as "Turkey Day".