Thanksgiving Day brings Americans together
When? In the United States it’s always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, in Canada on the second Monday of October. In 2021 Americans celebrate it on 25th November.
Where? U.S.A., Canada.
The meaning. This national holiday is a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It's a very important day for every American of every religious belief, every ethnic origin, and every political affiliation. It is a holiday that celebrates family, freedom, perseverance, culture and tolerance.
How it is celebrated. Thanksgiving brings Americans together like no other holiday. Most Americans travel home from wherever they are to celebrate this day.
Kurt Wagner, a U.S. lawyer with offices in Chicago and Villach, a lecturer at the Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt and the Carinthian University of Applied Science in Villach, and President of the Austro-American Society of Carinthia, has lived in Villach with his wife and two daughters for 20 years. “For me it is a particularly special holiday because families come together for no other reason than to be together – one of the few holiday where no gifts are given, nor expected”, he explains.
“In the Midwest United States – and most places I know – we celebrate by getting the family together for a traditional turkey dinner. For us this means turkey with “all the timings” meaning stuffing, mashed potatoes, red cabbage, bacon-wrapped green beans, creamed onions. My family usually adds a pre-dinner shrimp cocktail and a medley of raw vegetables invented by my grandfather. The dinner usually starts at 1-2 pm and after eating for a couple of hours everyone retires to the living room to watch television. Here tastes differ – American football is the most popular afternoon pastime, others watch movies. This usually makes everyone hungry again, and we use the leftover turkey to make turkey sandwiches”.
Family traditions. In Villach Wagner’s family celebrates Thanksgiving the same way as much as possible. “When our children were young we would take off work and have a full Thanksgiving Day celebration. We also now celebrate every year with the Austro-American Society of Carinthia”, says Mr. Wagner.