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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2016

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!

Blessed are those who gather with family and friends on this Thanksgiving; for they shall be stuffed with food, filled to the brim with the behaviors of relatives and subjected to the snores of friends. May God bless all of you on this beautiful day! ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

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FOCUS

Focusing your thoughts on a desired result and feeling the joy from realizing that result is like placing the focal point of a magnifying glass directly on a piece of paper. The paper will ignite because the energy of the Sun is transferred and amplified enough on the target to break down its 'at rest' state and convert it to fire.

If the focal point is held above the paper it will never ignite because the energy isn’t focused on the object of conversion. When you hope, wish or dream for what you feel you need, want, desire or expect to happen your focal point is not focused on the manifestation and fulfillment of your Divine purpose.

When you trust completely in the Divine by exercising your faith in knowing, visioning and believing in the fulfillment of your Divine purpose in Divine order you move the focal point down to the paper. This is the point of energy conversion and everything that you need, want, desire and expect to happen materializes right before your very eyes.

There isn’t any guessing, any feelings of unsurety or any doubts whatsoever. There is only the manifestation of YOUR co-creation by living in complete trust. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

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HELPING OTHERS

Be whom and what you were created to be by helping others become whom and what they were created to be. You will fine tune your awareness of your Divine purpose and through Divine trust you will come to know who to associate with, what to do, where to be, how to act, when to act and why you need to fulfill your Divine purpose at the right time.

Anything else is just treading water, being frivolous and wasting your precious time. Be diligent with the manifestation of your Divine purpose in Divine order. The way you respect the gift that the Divine has given you is how you will live your life.

Be honest and forthright and the bounty of the omniverse will create an avalanche of blessings that will pour out of your spirit and into the world. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

LOVING YOURSELF

If you don’t love yourself how do you expect to love your neighbor? If you don’t respect yourself how do you expect to respect your neighbor? If you aren’t true to yourself how do you expect to be true to your neighbor? How you act toward the world reflects how much you love yourself.

When you truly love whom and what you are you share that love with others. You recognize your inner selfishness and you minimize its expression. You recognize the Divine in yourself and others and you make time to be in communion with the Creator of the entire omniverse everyday of your life.

You express Divine love in your life by being the perfect being the Divine has created; not the imperfect being that your ego identifies with and tells you that you are. Be ye therefore perfect. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

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SERVICE IN PRAYER

Elizabeth and I would like to invite you all to our site ‘Service In Prayer’. For many months we have been led to offer a way for our online friends to have a forum to share our prayer needs with each other.

The purpose of this website is to connect with one another and share our needs for healing in whatever areas we feel we need. Please visit the website or go to the Facebook forum to post any public prayers on the Wall or PM us for private prayers.

We will pray for you or help you to find Prayer Partners to assist you in healing and realization of your Divine purpose and the unfolding of it in Divine order.

Thank you all for your support, kindness and for blessing us with your ongoing friendship. Peace and blessings to all of you and your families! ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

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Did you miss any of the issues of The Spirituality Post Daily? If so, following are the links to each and every day for you to peruse. Please visit our advertisers and help us to keep going in our service to the spiritual community of souls who long for a greater spiritual perspective on life. God bless you and your families! ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

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SAYINGS

Failure is nothing more than being successful at not doing something the right way! ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

 

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MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY!

I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is a time of family communion and recognition of how blessed we truly are. It is the one holiday that recognizes the help that our Native American brothers and sisters gave to the original European settlers.

We have a great deal to be thankful for in the USA. We have benefitted from the bounty of this great land and have brought together people from all over the world to enjoy our wealth and prosperity. We are all immigrants or are descendants from immigrants in this country. The legacy we bear is that we all seek and value freedom and liberty. We recognize civil liberties and uphold them as individual and collective rights for every citizen.

We are all brothers and sisters from many walks of life that have joined in a chorus that makes up this great nation. We might not always agree on what to do, but we agree that this is a land of opportunity.

On this Thanksgiving Day let’s reach out to all and lend a helping hand to our neighbors. If you have more than enough, then share what you have with those who have less than you. If you don’t have much, then donate your time to help your family, friends or neighbors. If you have nothing, then be thankful for your life and the awareness that you have.

No matter where we are in life we can find something to be grateful for and make the steps to give by contributing to the betterment of all. Having gratitude is not just a static state where one day a year it is celebrated; it is an ongoing attitude that blesses your life each and every day.

Give thanks for the family and friends you have. Give thanks for the home and vehicles you have. Give thanks for the job and income you have. Give thanks for your health, the food on your table and the rights of liberty you have. Give thanks for resting, waking up and the very next breath you take. It is all transitory.

Give thanks that God is at the center of your life and loves you for who you are. Start each and every day by saying, “Thank you, God!” and your entire life will be blessed. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

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SPIRITUALITY GUIDANCE

What is the Spirituality Guidance Channel? SGC is a video portal designed to introduce spiritually inclined individuals to be exposed to spiritual videos, radio, teachers, music, art, books, resources and links from a selected group of teachers and requests from viewers. Each featured coach/teacher will have their own page highlighting any videos, audios, websites or printed material they have produced. This portal will be regularly promoted on the Internet through social networking and targeted marketing channels. Please visit the website at the following address:
http://www.spiritualityguidance.com
and email me at webproducer@hotmail.com with any suggestions, links or materials. Thank you for your most courteous participation in this project. I welcome your input. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

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Welcome to our new Sunday Morning Service by Dr. Dean A. Banks, D.D.

Every week Dr. Dean will be engaging subjects that are pertinent to your growth and expansion into recognition of; respect to; and communication with your inner spirit.

Please feel free to comment or suggest topics for review. May the Divine always bless you and your families! ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE WITH
DR. DEAN A. BANKS, D.D.

"FLUSH YOUR CACHE"
Sunday, July 31st, 2016

"SELFISH OR SELFLESS?"
Sunday, August 7th, 2016

"LIVING IN YOUR FEELINGS"
"THE JOURNEY WITHIN"

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

"WHAT ARE FALSE EQUIVALENCIES?"
"WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU TO BE POLARIZED?
Sunday, August 21st, 2016

"HUMAN ASSETS AND NOT HUMAN RESOURCES"
Sunday, August 28th, 2016

"EXERCISING YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS"
Sunday, September 4th, 2016

"FACTS AND OPINIONS"
Sunday, September 11th, 2016

"DOES GOD EXIST?"
Sunday, September 18th, 2016

"REALIZATION"
"ASPECTS OF A SPIRITUAL LIFE"
Sunday, September 25th, 2016

"ALTERING YOUR PERSPECTIVE" Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

"PRE-CONCEIVED NOTIONS"
Sunday, October 9th, 2016

"ASK AND IT IS GIVEN"
Sunday, October 16th, 2016

"QUIT FOOLING YOURSELF"
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

"FOCUS ON A DESIRED OUTCOME"
Sunday, October 30th, 2016

"PAUL: APOSTLE OR APOSTATE"
Sunday, November 6th, 2016

"BIRDS OF A FEATHER"
Sunday, November 13th, 2016

"ARE YOU BEARING HEALTHY FRUIT?"
Sunday, November 20th, 2016

CONSULTATION
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WHAT HAVE WE BECOME?

Every year after Thanksgiving in the USA people begin rushing around everywhere in search of the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have given birth to Thanksgiving Day “Early Bird Specials.” Stores open now on Thanksgiving Day to be one step ahead of the competition in selling their wares.

What has happened to the sanctity of the most joyous season of the year? It is supposed to be about the birth of Jesus for the Christian believers even though any biblical scholar worth his salt will tell you that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. More than likely, September 28th was the day. The Universal (Catholic) “Official” Church of Christianity made several accommodations to get more pagans into their church during the Dark Ages. The Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday (the pagan worship day). Babylonian golden eggs became symbols of Easter. Babylonian trees decorated with gold and silver became symbols of Christmas. The Babylonian festival of Saturnalia was adopted to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

It is no wonder that the 21st Century god of Capitalism goes haywire every Saturnalia. It is the most profitable time of the year. People spend money on gifts to please family and friends. Whether people believe in Christmas or not, is truly not what is important. What is important is that it’s supposed to be a time of joy, peace and humanhood that has people racing around in their cars cursing at one another.

I remember one year going to Toy’s ‘R Us to get a Power Ranger figurine for my son Walter and a lady rushed in and pushed me aside to grab the last one and run to the register. Several people looked at me with astonishment and all I could say was “God bless her.” I found another Power Ranger a few days later that was actually the one my son really wanted. I guess that happened because I didn’t let it bother me and I just let it go.
I am old enough to remember a slower time when people respected one another, didn’t step on each other’s toes and patiently waited in line. A time where a complete stranger would smile at you and say, “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hanukah” and “Happy New Year” instead of the neutral politically correct “Happy Holidays.”

Whatever faith you ascribe to, the basic tenets of that faith claim that God is our Creator! If God truly created us, does He want us bickering and fighting with each other over places in line, traffic lane positioning or plastic figurine possession? Or, does He want us to love one another for who we are as He loves us? When you learn to love another as God loves us, it becomes clearer and clearer how we should all behave. Peace, joy and understanding to all of you this joyous season! ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

 

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BLACK FRIDAY

“Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest shopping days because of discounts offered by retailers: so named from the use of black ink to record profits; moving from the red (loss) into the black (gain). It is also referred to as a day of economic catastrophe, as in “We feared there'd be another Black Friday.” This usage dates from September 24, 1869, a Friday when stock manipulators Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market and caused its collapse. The adjective black  has been appended to similar occasions ever since, including October 29, 1929, the Tuesday of the market collapse that marked the start of the Great Depression, and Black Monday  of October 19, 1987,when the stock market experienced its greatest fall since the Great Depression. Any day marked by great confusion or activity, as in "It was just my luck to be traveling on Black Tuesday." This usage, too, is based on the events of 1869, marked by economic chaos. It has since been extended to other kinds of confusion, such as an accident hampering traffic during the evening rush hour” [dictionary.com].

Now, that we have established its definition, let’s change its meaning to something positive for consumers and not just retailers. It’s the second day of the beginning of the end of year celebrations. A time of unity, family and the giving of gifts to loved ones. A time to feel the joys of life and be thankful for its bounty. A time to be selfless and not selfish. A time to experience how we should be all year long. Children of the Most High God respecting other children of the Most High God. Blackness is a state known as the absence of white light. Since white light is always present and exists as a combination of all of the different colors, let’s use our presence to bring light into the darkness of blatant commercialism and greed at the stores.

Don’t participate in the rush to ‘have’. Participate in the subtlety to ‘give’. Pray for peace in this world, meditate to feel the essence of peace within and go into your community and share your wealth of inner peace with those who don’t understand the peace you live within. Give of yourself to others and turn Black Friday into White Friday. Celebrate your Oneness with the Spirit of God and share your wealth of inner peace. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

CONSULTATION

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A HISTORY OF THE
THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
by Catherine Clinton

Thanksgiving stands as one of the most American of holidays, an autumnal ritual fixed in the imagination as honoring the piety and perseverance of the nation’s earliest arrivals during colonial days. But what were the origins of this quintessentially American tradition? And how and when did the observance become an official part of our national identity and holiday calendar?

Harvest festivals have been recorded from ancient to modern times, from the Greeks honoring the goddess Demeter with a nine-day festival to the Jewish celebration of the Feast of the Tabernacles. And from ancient to modern times days of thanksgiving have followed a military triumph. But Thanksgiving celebrations on the North American continent may be more directly traced to European refugees offering prayers for survival, such as the minister who gave “God thanks for our happy metinge & safe aryval into the country,” when two ships with British colonists reached Georges Island off the Maine coast in 1607.

Perhaps the idea of an annual event to honor survival in the New World originated in Virginia, along the James River, where the Berkley Hundred colony held a religious service on December 4, 1619, to commemorate “the day of our ship’s arrival” and proclaimed the date would be “yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to the Almighty God.” Maybe Americans would associate the first Thanksgiving with Virginia if this settlement had not been wiped out by Indian massacre. As a result of that massacre, these first practitioners of the custom literally died out before the Pilgrims landed far to the north of them near Plymouth Rock—and it was the Pilgrims who became known as the originators of Thanksgiving.

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The History of Plimoth Plantation (which appeared in 1856) includes a colorful account of the meal shared by Pilgrims and Indians in 1621. It was described as a three-day feast of lobsters, clams, bass, corn, green vegetables, and dried fruits, as well as a “great store of Wild turkies.” Many of the New England colonists began to commemorate both their survival and their harvest by a religious ceremony. The Reverend John Cotton commented, “We sometimes upon extraordinary occasions . . . do set apart a day of humiliation or upon special mercies we set apart a day of Thanksgiving.”[1] For the next one hundred fifty years, Thanksgiving was celebrated in northern colonies as part of religious observance. By the middle of the eighteenth century, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut all had laws against “Game, Sport, Play or Recreation . . . on pain that every Person so Offending shall for every offence Forfeit the Sum of Ten Shillings.”[2]

Certainly days of thanksgiving were also associated with military victories, and Americans along the eastern seaboard joyfully came together on December 18, 1777, for a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise” in the wake of the Continental Army’s victory over the British in October of that year. This was the first holiday officially celebrated in all thirteen states—and such a celebration would not happen again until Congress declared November 28, 1782, a day of national thanksgiving.

In 1789 Congress debated whether the federal government should establish a uniform day of thanksgiving or leave the decision up to individual states—as had been done for over a century. On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued his own proclamation, directing Americans to celebrate and give thanks on Thursday, November 26. As a symbolic gesture, the new president sent money to supply debtors in the New York City jail with provisions, while he attended church services, thus beginning the American custom of local charity associated with Thanksgiving.

WHAT GIVES?

Washington’s proclamation did not transform this tradition into any official national holiday, although New England states especially maintained annual observances with a Thursday day of prayer and family homecoming each fall. But the idea of a permanent, national day of Thanksgiving became a dream of one of the most influential women in the antebellum era—Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. (Under Hale’s guidance, this popular magazine for home and family grew from a readership of roughly 40,000 into one with a circulation of over 150,000.)

Sarah Josepha Hale was born into a modest New England family at the end of the eighteenth century, and enjoyed her status as a young matron with a growing family. Every November her family gathered to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with a groaning sideboard of Yankee fare, often called “turkey with all the trimmings.” When her husband died and left his widow with five young children, Hale turned her talents to writing and became famous for one of her children’s verses—“Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Her first novel, Northwood, which appeared in 1827, included an entire chapter devoted to the significance and description of Thanksgiving traditions. When Hale later became the editor of the most influential periodical in the antebellum era, she campaigned to make the third Thursday in November a national holiday. She explained, “Thanksgiving, like the Fourth of July, should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people.”[3] Year after year, Hale wrote to the governor of each state, to congressmen and senators, and to the White House, urging official government recognition of this celebration. Yet Hale was unsuccessful; localities and states continued to declare thanksgiving days, but no national agreement emerged.

During this period, state-decreed days of thanksgiving were most common in the territories and new states. For settlers on the way west, the recollection of holidays past might invoke homesickness, but they might also prompt local celebration. In California, Oregon, and other territories, Thanksgiving holidays were proclaimed even before statehood. On the first Thanksgiving Day in Nebraska (in 1854) a local paper reported, “Although we have, as in all new countries, comparatively little to be thankful for, we have sufficient to inspire our gratitude and blessing.”[4]

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By 1855, the fourth Thursday of November was observed as Thanksgiving by fourteen states (while two others selected the third Thursday for celebration).[5] In 1858 one contemporary estimated that upwards of 10,000 people had left New York City to spend the holiday in New England with kin.[6] This special day braided together a number of family and cultural customs—perhaps even the first traffic jams.

With Lincoln’s election and the outbreak of war in 1861, the appeal of an annual homecoming, when a family might gather together, became even more poignant. In September 1863, Sarah Josepha Hale penned an editorial in which she wrote, “Would it not be better that the proclamation that appoints Thursday the 26th of November (1863) as the day of Thanksgiving for the people of the United States of America, should, in the first instance, emanate from the President of the Republic?” Hale appealed directly to President Lincoln; yet when Secretary of State William Seward replied on September 29 that her letter was receiving official attention, Hale perhaps did not become overly hopeful. She had, after all, thus far written to six presidents, to no avail.

But with hundreds of thousands of soldiers away from home, and with a president attuned to the mood of the nation, Lincoln issued a proclamation in 1863 that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. In a nod to historic precedent, he made the proclamation on the very same October 3 date on which Washington had proffered his own proclamation more than seventy years before. Lincoln put on his bravest face when he suggested in the middle of a war “of unequaled magnitude and severity” that “harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict.”[7] The President stressed abundance and unity, invoking memories of holidays past, and striking a chord with the war-torn Union.

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From its somber origins during Civil War days, Thanksgiving evolved into a multi-faceted celebration. Certainly the neighborhood revelry, which began in New York City in the 1840s, transformed the holiday into an elaborate commercial gala. As a witness described it in 1881: “About 150 persons were in coaches or on horseback, all in fancy costumes and many of them such as to create much merriment among the crowds that flocked to see them.”[8] The festivities began to rival Mardi Gras or Mummer’s parades on New Year’s Day, and in 1921, Gimbel’s Department Store in Philadelphia sponsored its first Thanksgiving parade. Macy’s of Manhattan transformed the day’s events into a patriotic extravaganza in which Uncle Sam first appeared in balloon form (several feet high) in 1938.

College footballers often chose Thanksgiving Day for the Big Game. Families attended games and—once television was available, viewed games without attending—before gathering round their turkey dinners. The holiday was secularized during the last decades of the century, and by the twentieth century, costumed festivals honoring the Pilgrims became themes of elaborate grade-school pageants—an effective way to “Americanize” immigrants. These annual activities showcased Puritan values and Yankee customs, promoting civic folk rituals.

During the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt a controversy developed over when to date the holiday, which presidential proclamation had traditionally set as the last Thursday of the month. In 1939 business interests lobbied successfully to shift the holiday to an earlier date. FDR selected November 23 to cater to demands for a longer Christmas shopping season.[9] Protests raged, as satirist Ogden Nash quipped: “Thanksgiving, like Ambassadors, Cabinet officers and others smeared with political ointment, depends for its existence on Presidential appointment.” To squelch ongoing battles, Roosevelt signed a bill in 1941 designating that ever after, the fourth Thursday in November would be America’s official Thanksgiving.

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THANKSGIVING
by Wikipedia

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United States. It was originally celebrated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well.

History

Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times.[1] The Thanksgiving holiday's history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.[1][2]

In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious services became important during the English Reformation in the reign of Henry VIII and in reaction to the large number of religious holidays on the Catholic calendar. Before 1536 there were 95 Church holidays, plus 52 Sundays, when people were required to attend church and forego work and sometimes pay for expensive celebrations. The 1536 reforms reduced the number of Church holidays to 27, but some Puritans wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays, including Christmas and Easter. The holidays were to be replaced by specially called Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving, in response to events that the Puritans viewed as acts of special providence. Unexpected disasters or threats of judgement from on high called for Days of Fasting. Special blessings, viewed as coming from God, called for Days of Thanksgiving. For example, Days of Fasting were called on account of drought in 1611, floods in 1613, and plagues in 1604 and 1622. Days of Thanksgiving were called following the victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588 and following the deliverance of Queen Anne in 1705. An unusual annual Day of Thanksgiving began in 1606 following the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and developed into Guy Fawkes Day on November 5.[3]

In Canada

While some researchers state that "there is no compelling narrative of the origins of the Canadian Thanksgiving day",[4] the first Canadian Thanksgiving is often traced back to 1578 and the explorer Martin Frobisher. Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean, held his Thanksgiving celebration not for harvest but in thanks for surviving the long journey from England through the perils of storms and icebergs. On his third and final voyage to the far north, Frobisher held a formal ceremony in Frobisher Bay in Baffin Island (present-day Nunavut) to give thanks to God and in a service ministered by the preacher Robert Wolfall they celebrated Communion.[5]

Oven-roasted turkey

The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are also sometimes traced to the French settlers who came to New France with explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who celebrated their successful harvests. The French settlers in the area typically had feasts at the end of the harvest season and continued throughout the winter season, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area.[6]

As settlers arrived in Canada from New England, late autumn Thanksgiving celebrations became commonplace. New immigrants into the country—such as the Irish, Scottish, and Germans—also added their own traditions to the harvest celebrations. Most of the US aspects of Thanksgiving (such as the turkey), were incorporated when United Empire Loyalists began to flee from the United States during the American Revolution and settled in Canada.[6]

Thanksgiving is now a statutory holiday in most jurisdictions of Canada, with the exception of the Atlantic provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.[7]

In the United States

Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts

In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly, but not universally, traced to a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the "First Thanksgiving", including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631.[8][9] According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden.[10] Now called Oktober Feesten, Leiden's autumn thanksgiving celebration in 1617 was the occasion for sectarian disturbance that appears to have accelerated the pilgrims' plans to emigrate to America.[11] Later in Massachusetts, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford, who planned the colony's thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623.[12][13][14] The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.[15]

Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. During the revolutionary period, political influences affected the issuance of Thanksgiving proclamations. Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress,[16] each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes.[17] As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God".[18]

In modern times the President of the United States, in addition to issuing a proclamation, will "pardon" a turkey, which spares the bird's life and ensures that it will spend the duration of its life roaming freely on farmland.[19]

Debate about first celebrations in the United States

The traditional representation of where the first Thanksgiving was held in the United States has often been a subject of boosterism and debate, though the debate is often confused by mixing up the ideas of a Thanksgiving holiday celebration and a Thanksgiving religious service. According to author James Baker, this debate is a "tempest in a beanpot" and "marvelous nonsense".[8]

Local boosters in Virginia, Florida, and Texas promote their own colonists, who (like many people getting off a boat) gave thanks for setting foot again on dry land. (Jeremy Bangs[10])

These claims include an earlier religious service by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario in 1598, as well as thanksgiving feasts in the Virginia Colony.[20] Robyn Gioia and Michael Gannon of the University of Florida argue that the earliest Thanksgiving service in what is now the United States was celebrated by the Spanish on September 8, 1565, in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida.[21][22] A day for Thanksgiving services was codified in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia in 1619.[23]

According to Baker, "Historically, none of these had any influence over the evolution of the modern United States holiday. The American holiday's true origin was the New England Calvinist Thanksgiving. Never coupled with a Sabbath meeting, the Puritan observances were special days set aside during the week for thanksgiving and praise in response to God's providence."[8]

Fixing the date of the holiday

The earlier Thanksgiving celebrations in Canada has often been attributed to the earlier onset of winter in the north, thus ending the harvest season earlier.[24] Thanksgiving in Canada did not have a fixed date until the late 19th century. Prior to Canadian Confederation, many of the individual colonial governors of the Canadian provinces had declared their own days of Thanksgiving. The first official Canadian Thanksgiving occurred on April 15, 1872,[25] when the nation was celebrating the Prince of Wales' recovery from a serious illness.[24] By the end of the 19th century, Thanksgiving Day was normally celebrated on November 6. However, when World War I ended, the Armistice Day holiday was usually held during the same week. To prevent the two holidays from clashing with one another, in 1957 the Canadian Parliament proclaimed Thanksgiving to be observed on its present date on the second Monday of October.[6] Since 1971, when the American Uniform Monday Holiday Act took effect, the American observance of Columbus Day has coincided with the Canadian observance of Thanksgiving.[26][27]

Much as in Canada, Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various dates throughout history. From the time of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln, the date Thanksgiving was observed varied from state to state. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 19th century. Thanksgiving was first celebrated on the same date by all states in 1863 by a presidential proclamation of Abraham Lincoln. Influenced by the campaigning of author Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote letters to politicians for around 40 years trying to make it an official holiday, Lincoln proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November in an attempt to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states.[28] Because of the ongoing Civil War and the Confederate States of America's refusal to recognize Lincoln's authority, a nationwide Thanksgiving date was not realized until Reconstruction was completed in the 1870s.

On December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday. Two years earlier, Roosevelt had used a presidential proclamation to try to achieve this change, reasoning that earlier celebration of the holiday would give the country an economic boost.

Observance

Pumpkin pie is commonly served on and around Thanksgiving in North America.

Thanksgiving (French: l'Action de grâce), occurring on the second Monday in October, is an annual Canadian holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season. Although the original act of Parliament references God and the holiday is celebrated in churches, the holiday is mostly celebrated in a secular manner. Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in all provinces in Canada, except for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. While businesses may remain open in these provinces, the holiday is nonetheless recognized and celebrated regardless of its status.[29][30][31][32][33]

Grenada

In the West Indian island of Grenada, there is a national holiday known as Thanksgiving Day which is celebrated on October 25. Even though it bears the same name, and is celebrated at roughly the same time as the American and Canadian versions of Thanksgiving, this holiday is unrelated to either of those celebrations. Instead the holiday marks the anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of the island in 1983, in response to the deposition and execution of Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.[34]

Liberia

In the West African country of Liberia, which began in 1820 with the colonization of freed black slaves (Americo-Liberians) from the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the first Thursday of November.[35]

The Netherlands

Pieterskerk

Many of the Pilgrims who migrated to the Plymouth Plantation had resided in the city of Leiden from 1609–1620, and had recorded their births, marriages and deaths at the Pieterskerk (St. Peter's church). To commemorate this, a non-denominational Thanksgiving Day service is held each year on the morning of the American Thanksgiving Day in the Pieterskerk, a Gothic church in Leiden, noting the hospitality the Pilgrims received in Leiden on their way to the New World.[36]

Besides this, Thanksgiving is observed by orthodox protestant churches in The Netherlands on the first Wednesday in November (Dankdag). It is is not a public holiday. Those that observe the day either only go to church in the evening or take the day off and go to church in the morning (and occasionally afternoon) too.

Australia (Norfolk Island)

Thanksgiving is not celebrated on mainland Australia. However, on the Australian external territory of Norfolk Island, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Wednesday of November, similar to the pre-World War II American observance on the last Thursday of the month. This means the Norfolk Island observance is the day before or six days after the United States' observance. The holiday was brought to the island by visiting American whaling ships.[37]

Philippines

The Philippines, while it was an American colony in the first half of the 20th century, celebrated Thanksgiving as a special public holiday on the same day as the Americans. During the Japanese occupation during World War II, both the Americans and Filipinos celebrated Thanksgiving in secret. After Japanese withdrawal in 1945, the tradition continued until 1965. It was revived by President Ferdinand Marcos, but on every September 21, when martial law was imposed in the country. After Marcos' ouster in 1986, the tradition was no longer continued.[38] Due to the existence of BPO - Business Process Outsourcing since 2001 this tradition continues for the local workers joining their American employers.

Saint Lucia

The nation of Saint Lucia celebrates Thanksgiving on the first Monday in October.[39]

United States

Thanksgiving, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in 1941, has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States. Historically, Thanksgiving has traditionally been a celebration of the blessings of the year, including the harvest.[40] What Americans call the "Holiday Season" generally begins with Thanksgiving.[41]

Judaism

In Reform Judaism, there is no hindrance to celebrating Thanksgiving, since it is regarded as a secular celebration rather than religious or gentile.[42][43] In Orthodox Jewry as well, many Rabbis permit or even encourage Thanksgiving celebration.[44]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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