I am really looking forward to this Thursday, as you may know, it is Thanksgiving for Americans! Thanksgiving is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November. The month of November comes in autumn, the main season for harvesting crops. Thanksgiving is an autumn harvest(収穫) festival like those found in many cultures.
Today the holiday is a time of family reunions, parades(パレード) and watching football games on television. And, oh, yes, food! For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving is a day spent cooking, eating and spending time together. I will spend the afternoon eating a delicious buffet in Hiroo!
The writer O. Henry called Thanksgiving the one holiday that is purely American. It is not a religious holiday. But it does have a spiritual meaning.
Some Americans travel long distances to be with their families. They eat a large dinner, which is the main part of the celebration. For many people, Thanksgiving is the only time when all members of a family gather together. The holiday is a time of family and family reunions.
The government says the Sunday after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for long-distance travel. This is when people usually return from gatherings.
Thanksgiving is all about family and food
But let’s get back to the food.
The star of the Thanksgiving meal is the turkey!
This large bird roasts in the oven all morning. The smell of celery, onion and herbs fill the house and makes everyone hungry.
Two traditional side dishes are mashed potatoes and sweet potato casseroles.
And there is another -- stuffing -- a bread-and-vegetable mixture that is literally stuffed into the turkey and then baked.
While people cook the Thanksgiving meal and talk with family members and friends, others might be watching American football games on television.
Two American traditions, Thanksgiving Day parade and football
Over the years, Americans have added this tradition to their Thanksgiving celebrations. A number of football games are played on Thanksgiving Day so honestly, the women work hard in the kitchen and the men are lazy people (怠け者) who just watch TV!
Another tradition is the television broadcast of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
And then sometime in the afternoon, the dinner table is set. It is time for what everyone has been waiting for. Dinner is served!
Some families have more than one dinner table at Thanksgiving. Children may eat together at their own table. Usually, the people who are invited to dinner belong to the same family. But anyone can bring a friend. In fact, many Americans live far away from family members. So, getting together at Thanksgiving is not always possible. Many people in this situation have a dinner party and invite their friends who are also without family for the holidays.
Whether you are eating with family and friends or serving meals to the homeless, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks. Before the meal begins, it is traditional for everyone to say a few words about what they are most thankful for. I for one am thankful for all the wonderful staff, teachers and especially students at Fujisawa Berlitz.
Turkey Fun Facts
- According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 253 million turkeys were raised from January 2013 through September 2014.
- An estimated 46 million turkeys were raised in the state of Minnesota alone.
- You can buy a turkey from the store or directly from a turkey farm.
- Buying a turkey directly from a turkey farm costs more because they are raised in pastures and without the use of antibiotics.
- The average 16-pound turkey costs about $21.65 in 2014. This is slightly less than it cost in 2013.
- A more recent Thanksgiving tradition is the U.S. President pardoning a turkey -- or saving it from being killed.
Do you have a knack for learning English?
Min's Berlitzine (Dec. 2016)
Min's Berlitzine (Nov. 2016)