Please forward this error screen to sharedip-10718046230. Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Eve is a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times.

The Thanksgiving holiday’s history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. 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. According to some historians, the first celebration of Thanksgiving in North America occurred during the 1578 voyage of Martin Frobisher from England in search of the Northwest Passage. Other researchers, however, state that “there is no compelling narrative of the origins of the Canadian Thanksgiving day. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are also sometimes traced to the French settlers who came to New France in the 17th century, who celebrated their successful harvests. The French settlers in the area typically had feasts at the end of the harvest season and continued throughout the winter season, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area. As settlers arrived in Nova Scotia from New England after 1700, late autumn Thanksgiving celebrations became commonplace.

New immigrants into the country—such as the Irish, Scottish, and Germans—also added their own traditions to the harvest celebrations. In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts, and also to a well recorded 1619 event in Virginia. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the “First Thanksgiving”, including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631.

Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. During the revolutionary period, political influences affected the issuance of Thanksgiving proclamations. The question of where the first Thanksgiving was held in the United States has been a subject of debate, primarily between New England and Virginia, complicated by the concept of Thanksgiving as a holiday celebration versus a religious service. James Baker maintains, “The American holiday’s true origin was the New England Calvinist Thanksgiving. Other claims include an earlier religious service by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario in 1598. The earlier Thanksgiving celebrations in Canada has often been attributed to the earlier onset of winter in the North, thus ending the harvest season earlier.