Monday, November 20, 2023
While many holidays have fixed dates, Thanksgiving stands out by always occurring on the same day of the week, albeit with a varying date.
This tradition dates back to 1941 when a resolution was passed, establishing the fourth Thursday of November as the official Thanksgiving day, ensuring a consistent Christmas shopping season during five-Thursday Novembers.
Why Thursday, though? Historically, Thursday was chosen as it aligned with the convenience of early Puritan settlers. Sunday, being the Sabbath, was not suitable for feasts, and Fridays were designated for fasting, making them inconvenient as well.
With Thursday emerging as a day when ministers often gave lectures in New England, it became a practical choice for Thanksgiving, evolving into a tradition over the years.
The days surrounding Thanksgiving have also taken on special significance. Thanksgiving Eve, or "drinksgiving," has become a widely celebrated occasion, marking the beginning of a four-day weekend for many Americans. It serves as a day to gather with friends before spending time with family.
As for the Friday after Thanksgiving, the infamous Black Friday traditionally launches the holiday shopping season with massive deals. While Black Friday remains popular, deals now extend days to weeks before and after the official day. Additionally, Cyber Monday, occurring the Monday after Thanksgiving, offers online shoppers exclusive deals.
Beyond family gatherings, "Friendsgiving" has gained popularity. This Thanksgiving celebration with friends has no set date, allowing friends to coordinate schedules for a day of shared drinks and dining.
In essence, the Thursday tradition of Thanksgiving has deep historical roots, shaped by considerations of convenience and the need for a consistent shopping season.
The days surrounding Thanksgiving have evolved into unique celebrations, blending tradition with modern festivities.