Thanksgiving is always celebrated on a Thursday. Do you have any idea why?
Thanksgiving is a holiday for the peoples of the United States, Canada, some of the Caribbean Islands, and Liberia. Only in the U.S.A is Thursday is the day chosen to gather and give thanks for plentiful harvests. This Fall festival became an official American holiday though a series of presidential proclamations.
In the U.S.A we trace The First Thanksgiving back to the 1621 dinner shared by the newly arrived Pilgrims and the resident Wampanoag Indians. Such a feast actually took place, but subsequent celebrations were not carried on in a particularly orderly fashion. Thanksgiving did not become a official holiday until President George Washington in 1789 proclaimed a day of public thanks and prayer.
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor — and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
As to how Thanksgiving became “turkey day is another story. Turkeys were wild and commonly hunted in fields and forests by American settlers. It is said that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to become the official bird of the nation instead of the bald eagle. It is not clear if this idea was a serious political consideration or a food joke, but we all know which bird appears on the U.S. Seal. It isn’t the turkey.
““I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”
It wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving was given a fixed date. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the final Thursday of November as the day that we gather together and offer gratitude for all that we have. At the time it was a common belief that Thursday is the day of abundance. Then in 1941 President Harry Truman set things straight specifying that Thanksgiving be the fourth Thursday of November instead of the last Thursday. And that’s the way it is today!
Jupiter rules our occasions of great ceremony and merriment. The feelings of gratitude and enjoyment are experienced on Thursday.