Canada. Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November
in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. Because of
the longstanding traditions of the holiday, the celebration often extends to the
weekend that falls closest to the day it is celebrated. Several other places
around the world observe similar celebrations. Historically, Thanksgiving had
roots in religious and cultural tradition. Today, Thanksgiving is primarily
celebrated as a secular holiday.
Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost
all religions after harvests and at other times. The 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 of the holiday
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, the radical reformers of their age, 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... [continues]
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(2012, 11). The Best Mother Ever. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2012, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Best-Mother-Ever-1271667.html
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