Celebrating Thanksgiving in Chester College

The most well known Thanksgiving celebration is the one that takes place the fourth Thursday of November every year in the United States. This year, it took place November 26th.


How we celebrated Thanksgiving at Chester College

Chester College has a few students who have lived in America or come from an American background. Therefore, Thanksgiving is a very special occasion for them. In order to make these students feel at home, the Chester team organized a special lunch in which these students could be surrounded by their loved ones at school! Our lunch consisted of pumpkin soup, turkey, mashed potatoes and veggies. We accompanied this with apple juice and an apple pie for dessert.

In order to make Thanksgiving even more special, the school decided that everyone would eat together, from the youngest ones to the teachers and directors. Before the meal began, we each expressed something that we were thankful for. “I’m very thankful for my health and this great company that we have around us everyday”, Ms Veiga, the English and World History teacher said. It was an enriching experience to see what our classmates and teachers appreciated most in their lives.

After a lunch of laughter and great company, we all went back to our classes knowing each other a little bit better. This celebration was especially interesting for the students who have lived in countries where Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated. They were able to experience a new holiday, which was completely foreign to them.


The Origins of the Celebration

About four hundred years ago, a group of pilgrims and Puritans migrated from their hometowns in Europe to the town of Plymouth, in current day Massachusetts. When the pilgrims arrived, they did not have any idea as to how they would be able to survive in their new homes. They brought Bibles with them, which were not of much use when figuring out how to survive. However, they met Native Americans indigenous of Massachusetts. These tribes helped them find food, create shelter, and therefore settle and survive in their new home. In order to thank them and God for the harvest year, they gathered and ate together. In this celebration, there were ninety Native Americans. This is what we know as the “First Thanksgiving.”


What are Thanksgiving celebrations like today in the United States?

Thanksgiving is considered a national holiday in the United States ever since the Civil War. It was declared a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in order to try and unify a country that had been torn apart by Civil War.

Thanksgiving is known as the beginning of the “holiday season.” Some people believe that Thanksgiving is in fact the most important holiday in the United States for the reason that it doesn’t apply to a specific religion or group of people. It is a holiday for everybody: for every American.

Thanksgiving is a night where friends and families get together in order to celebrate the food and the company. There are various ways people interpret this holiday. For some families, Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks to God for their health and good lives. On the contrary, other families considered Thanksgiving a time for being thankful for having each other and having achieved personal goals. Either way, Thanksgiving is a time where everybody learns to appreciate the wonderful things they have by their side.

Nowadays, most people refer to Thanksgiving as “Turkey Day”. Turkey is an embodiment of this celebration. This is due to the fact that the main meal we consume during Thanksgiving is turkey. Turkey is an indigenous animal to the United States, which we can find in large quantities. In addition to Turkey, it is very common for families to make stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn and squash.

During Thanksgiving season, many people dedicate their time to helping poor people who don’t have much food. There are food drives to which people can donate food, as well as organized lunches where needy people can eat.

Thanksgiving is a time of complete celebration! There are huge parades, such as the Macy’ parade in NYC, which are shown on television. There are also two football games on the night on the Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving, best known as “Black Friday” is a day where most stores have sales, mostly on electronics and technology. Shopping malls get crowded with people wanted to get the best deals on these items. However, for the ones who don’t want to get out of their house that day, there is the option of “Cyber Monday”, where many stores lower their online prices.

– Ali Amaro, Grade 10.

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