Veterans Day

Every year, on November 11, the United States celebrates Veterans Day.  This date stays the same every year because on November 11, 1918, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, officially ending World War I.  In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Veterans Day Proclamation, officially making the day a national holiday.

In addition to the US, Britain, France, Australia and Canada also celebrate their veterans on November 11. While there is no formal parade or celebration on this holiday, Americans take time out of their day to thank any and all veterans who have served their country, in times of war and peace.

To learn more about the history of Veterans Day, watch History Channels quick video about it below.

Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving is approaching (November 24th this year – always the 4th Thursday in November) we thought this would be a good time to for you to get acquainted with the holiday.

Below is a picture of a cornucopia, also referred to as the ‘horn of plenty.’ This is a common image around Thanksgiving. It is a horn-shaped basket that is often filled with fruits and vegetables to represent a good harvest.

Cornucopia

 

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in in 1621 when the pilgrims invited the Native Americans to share a meal with them to honor the pilgrims’ first successful harvest.

The video below will provide a brief historical context of the holiday as well as some current traditions, courtesy of History.com.

Though the food today is somewhat different from what was enjoyed during earlier Thanksgiving celebrations, the tradition is still typically celebrated over a large meal that the family has gathered to enjoy.

Typical Thanksgiving Dinner

Though some aspects of the Thanksgiving dinner may vary regionally across the US, it is very common to have a turkey as the main dish on Thanksgiving. Depending on where you are from, the turkey you eat may be baked, smoked, fried, or cooked in some other form. Popular side dishes include potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. These may be prepared in a variety of ways. And let’s not forget the most important dish of all… dessert! This usually consists of a variety of pies – most popular being pumpkin and pecan.

Thanksgiving Day Events

Aside from bringing the family together for a day of feasting, there are other popular events that happen on Thanksgiving.

  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – this is an annual parade held in New York City and televised across the country on Thanksgiving day. It began in the 1920s and currently consists of marching bands, floats, and enormous balloons.

The video below provides a brief history and description of the parade.

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For additional information on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, visit their website here.

  • Football – Football has been played on Thanksgiving for decades. Over the years, more games have been played on Thanksgiving.

The following video will explain the tradition of football on Thanksgiving:

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Shopping, shopping, shopping…

The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday. This is the largest sale day of the year when the Christmas season kicks off. Over the years, sales that originally began on Friday have started earlier and earlier, even days before Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day at midnight many stores open up and allow customers to rush in and enjoy the massive savings. You will see people lined up even hours before midnight waiting to get the ‘door buster’ savings – the largest discounts on a limited number of items.