Thanksgiving 2023: When & How to Celebrate this Special Day

Thanksgiving 2023 is being celebrated on November 23, 2023 in the United States. The holiday is about giving thanks for the blessing of harvest and of preceding year and is observed every year on the fourth Thursday of November.

On the occasion of Thanksgiving, it is customary for people to be part of a family meal where all family members enjoy the Thanksgiving dinner together and express their gratitude towards the things they are thankful for. It is also common for people to attend church services and watch special sports together with family and friends.

Thanksgiving 2023 Around the World

The day is observed as a national holiday in the US, and other than the States, it is also celebrated in Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Liberia and other countries as well.

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on second Monday of October, in Saint Lucia first Monday of October, first Thursday of November in Liberia and fixed 25 October in Grenada.

Although the celebration is carried out on different dates but the reason for celebrating Thanksgiving is same in these countries as well that is being thankful for a good harvest.

Thanksgiving 2023 Date

Here you can check the date for celebration of Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving 2023 Date USANovember 23Thursday
Date in 2024November 28Thursday
Date in 2025November 27Thursday
Date in 2026November 26Thursday
Date in 2027November 25Thursday

Thanksgiving Day Outside the USA

CanadaOctober 9, 2023 (Second Monday of October)
GrenadaOctober 25 2023
Saint LuciaOctober 2 2023 (First Monday in October)
LiberiaNovember 2 2023 (First Thursday of November)
NetherlandsNovember 1 2023 (First Wednesday in November)
AustraliaNovember 29 2023 (Last Wednesday of November)
PhilippinesSeptember 21 2023
RwandaAugust 4 2023 (First Friday of August)

Significance of Thanksgiving Day

Celebration of Thanksgiving started as a religious observance for all the members of the community. The day aims to give thanks to God for a bountiful of harvest. But as the families became more and more apart, the celebration became more cultural than religious. Modern Thanksgiving is celebrated more of like a family gathering.

Thanksgiving provides an occasion for all family members to meet each other and enjoy a great meal together, may be play or watch some games or parades. The significance of celebrating Thanksgiving is both to be grateful to God for all the little things in life and also to spend some memorable time with family and friends.

History behind Thanksgiving Day Celebration

There are different stories of how Thanksgiving celebration began and most people trace it back to the Pilgrims and Puritans who relocated from England in the 1620s and brought their tradition of feasting with them. In 1621, after a good harvest was observed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving in the states.

In the celebration, the Pilgrims were joined by a tribe of Native Americans Wampanoags and the last surviving Patuxet who helped them survive by giving food. This dates the first Thanksgiving celebration held in the United Sates.

Check: Top ten thanksgiving foods

Earlier, there was no fixed date for celebrating Thanksgiving and the festival was observed on differing dates in the different parts of the country. However, at the beginning of the 19th century, final Thursday in November had become the customary date in most of the US for observing Thanksgiving. The day gradually overcame the celebration of Evacuation Day that commemorated the day the British exited the United States after the Revolutionary War.

The final adoption of the Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed for all states in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln who announced it to be an official holiday. Final Thursday of November was chosen for observation of Thanksgiving and celebrated the military successes in the war along with the general custom of being thankful for everything people got in their lives.

In 1939, the day for celebrating Thanksgiving was changed from final Thursday to fourth Thursday by the then American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He did this to boost the economy by starting Christmas shopping one week earlier than before. For around two years, Thanksgiving continued to be observed on two days but the day was officially changed to the fourth Thursday in November starting in 1942.

Celebration of Thanksgiving Day

Traditional celebration of Thanksgiving involves getting blessing from the God and thanking for the bounties He had provided in the form of successful harvest. Modern celebrations of the festival involve sharing a family meal and enjoying the rest of the day watching games, parades or visiting church. Special delicacies include turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries sauce and lastly pumpkin pie as the dessert.

The main attraction of the festival is the parade carried out in public featuring massive balloons designed in all shapes and sizes. The ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia is the oldest parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York is the second-oldest. Other famous parades include McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago, and Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Parade in New Orleans

Thanksgiving is also about feeding and caring for others, especially the poor and the hungry and many charitable drives are conducted on the occasion. Many people and organizations volunteer to prepare and serve Thanksgiving dinners to poor people on this day.


Why was the celebration of Thanksgiving changed from final Thursday to fourth Thursday of November?

President Franklin Roosevelt declared November’s fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. FDR thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas.

What is the day after Thanksgiving Day is called?

The Friday that falls after Thanksgiving Day is called Black Friday and marks the official day for starting Christmas shopping.

Who announced official holiday on the occasion of Thanksgiving?

Abraham Lincoln was the one who announced official holiday on the occasion of Thanksgiving. The driving force behind this was that of Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote letters for approximately 40 years advocating an official holiday on Thanksgiving.

What day is Thanksgiving 2023?

The date of Thanksgiving 2023 is Thursday, November 23, 2023

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