Thanksgiving Harvest Festival.

The harvest festival of Thanksgiving is widely celebrated throughout the world and it is a national holiday in the United States of America, Canada and some other parts of the world with a lot of cheer, excitement, and fun. One of the most anticipated and happily enjoyable occasions of the year, Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Thursday, 22nd of November 2018. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

The Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving does not have an official date in every country like the U.S. For some it is traditionally held around the season of the harvest moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. Harvest Thanksgiving has pre-Christian roots when the Saxons would offer the first sheaf of barley, oats, or wheat to fertility gods. When the harvest was finally collected, communities would come together for a harvest supper. When Christianity arrived in many countries many traditions remained, and today the Harvest Festival is marked by churches and schools in late September/early October with singing, praying and decorating with baskets of food and fruit to celebrate a successful harvest and to give thanks. Collections of food are usually held which are then given to local charities which help the homeless and those in need.

In the U.S. this national holiday was first officially observed after a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, in 1863.  Establishing the fourth Thursday of November for the observance, Lincoln wrote that “The blessings enjoyed in this country are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.  It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.”

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