The USA will be celebrating Thanksgiving 2020 on Thursday, November 26th. Thanksgiving in the US also marks the official beginning of the holiday season that starts on Thanksgiving day and ends on the new year. While people mostly associate this holiday with the United States, it is not the only country that celebrates Thanksgiving; in fact, Canada not only celebrates Thanksgiving, they do it before the US, on the second Monday of October.
Like any other holiday in the United States, Thanksgiving also comes with an opportunity for people to spend quality time with their friends, loved ones, and families and do some shopping. With the arrival of the holiday season, businesses across the country begin to give generous discounts and organizing sales of various products.
If you want to go shopping, Friday Thanksgiving, also called Black Friday, is the perfect opportunity to grab deals that you cannot find any other time of the year.
Today we associate Thanksgiving with family meetups, turkey, and partying; this holiday has a great deal of fascinating lore. Read further to know more about Thanksgiving in the United States and Thanksgiving traditions around the world.
Origin Of Thanksgiving
The US Thanksgiving has its origins in early 1600 England. When Pilgrims and Puritans emigrated to the new world from England in the 1620s and 1630s, they brought the traditions of the Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving to New England.
The modern-day Thak Thanksgiving has its toots dating back to a well-documented event in 1619 Virginia and sparsely recorded 1621 celebration at Plymouth in Massachusetts.
In 1619 when 38 English settlers arrived at Berkely Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia, they celebrated that day as a day of Thanksgiving to the Almighty God. The 1621 Plymouth feat of Thanksgiving resulted from a good harvest, which the Pilgrims celebrated with Native Americans because the natives helped the Pilgrims survive the previous winter by giving them food in the time of scarcity.
For two centuries, people all over the country celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday on different dates. The observance date usually varies from state to state. In the 19th century, the final Thursday of November became the regular date in many parts of the country for celebrating Thanksgiving. The day also coincided with Evacuation Day’s holiday, a celebration commemorating the British exiting the United States after the revolutionary war.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the final Thursday of November as the day to celebrate the bounties that were continuously falling on the Union and military successes in the war. Due to the on-going Civil War, nationwide thanksgiving celebrations did not come into effect until Reconstruction’s completion in the 1870s.
On October 31st, 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a presidential proclamation assigning the next to last Thursday of November as the official Thanksgiving in the United States. However, on December 26th, 1941, Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing Thanksgiving Day to the fourth Thursday in November.
Thanksgiving And Shopping
Thanksgiving marks the commencing of the holiday season in the United States, a time of year when the retail business experienced the highest growth in their sales and customer count. It is no surprise that in 2019, online sales on Thanksgiving day reached a peak of nearly 4.2 billion dollars in the United States.
For most people, a holiday means buying presents and partying with family and friends. In 1960, a new term came into existence to describe the shopping rush the day after the national Thanksgiving day – Black Friday. Over the years, this day has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year in the United States. However, despite the popularity of Black Friday, people are still looking for more offers, and businesses have also realized the potential for sky-rocketing their sales number, so they started offering favorable deals on other days aside from Black Friday.
In the past few years, businesses throughout the country started offering deals all weekend long and on Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
This year, Thanksgiving shopping will look much different than any previous years due to the apparent threat of COVID-19. Most US retailers have decided to stay closed on the day of Thanksgiving, citing health concerns.
According to a new Accenture survey, about 76% of US consumers said they support closing stores on Thanksgiving. This year the retail market might also see a decline in holiday sales as most people are not ready to spend enormous due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. On average, people say they plan only to spend around 540 dollars on holiday shopping, 15% less from the last year.
The changes in consumers’ shopping habits during the pandemic also indicate that people are more likely to order products using online platforms instead of retail stores. This trend might means, while we see a shrink in the offline market during the holiday season, we can expect to see an increase in the online purchase.
Vacation And Travel
People travel all over the country and even outside the country to meet their families during Thanksgiving, making Thanksgiving holiday weekend one of the busiest travel periods of the year.
For most of the schools and colleges, Thanksgiving is a four or five-day weekend vacation, and most government and private workers get Thanksgiving the day after as a paid holiday. All this combined makes this holiday well suited for travel back to your hometown to spend quality time with your family members and catch up with your old friends.
Like everything else this year, the travel industry is also facing the onslaught of COVID-19. Many places do not allow flights and have travel restrictions making it hard for people to travel to their homes.
While you may not be able to go to your family or friends, but you can still connect with them via facetime, zoom, or even skype. And for the presents, who said you could not give your loved ones the gift they deserve if you are a little far. You can order their presents online, which will reach them just in time for a grand holiday celebration.