Festivals and celebrations are important part of every culture. It is very important for us to teach our kids the true spirits of these festivals. They need to be aware of the reasons for which the festival is celebrated. In this way we can pass these important cultural events to our up coming generations. Thanksgiving is one of the important festivals that we celebrate to be thankful for what we have. Here at Kidz Feed we have gathered complete set of Thanksgiving Facts For Kids that will provide you with all the Thanksgiving Information For Kids that you need to know. Learn all about Thanksgiving now, what it is actually, when it is celebrated, why it is celebrated, where it is celebrated, other name, meaning, importance, how to celebrate, Thanksgiving for kids, its origin, first celebrations, thanksgiving food, why do we eat turkey on thanksgiving and many other fun facts about Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Facts For Kids
1. What Is Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving is a public holiday in the USA, Canada, Liberia, and some of the Caribbean islands.
- It is celebrated as a “harvest festival” and for the blessings of the preceding year.
- The historical roots of the thanksgiving festival are in the cultural and religious traditions. However, it has also been celebrated for a long time as a “secular holiday”.
- The dates and days of celebration are different in various countries.
- Festival holidays of the same name are also celebrated in Germany and Japan.
2. When Is Thanksgiving Celebrated – When Is Thanksgiving Day
- Thanksgiving festival is celebrated on different dates and days in various countries. For example:
- On the 4th Thursday of November America
- On the 2nd Monday of October in Canada
- While in Liberia, it is celebrated on the first Thursday of November
3. What Month Is Thanksgiving
- In the United States and Liberia, the Thanksgiving festival is celebrated in the month of November.
- While in Canada, it is celebrated in the month of October.
4. What Day Is Thanksgiving Day
- In the United States and Liberia, Thanksgiving day is Thursday while in Canada it is Monday.
5. Where Is Thanksgiving Celebrated
- Thanksgiving is celebrated mainly in the USA, Canada, Liberia, and some of the Caribean islands.
- Similar festivals are also celebrated in Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Malaysia, India, and Sri Lanka.
6. Which Countries Celebrate Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving In Other Countries
- Thanksgiving is a national holiday in:
- Saint Lucia
- Norfolk Island (Australia)
- Netherlands (not celebrated as a public holiday)
- In some other countries, a similar festival is held with other names and at different dates. Such as:
- In the United Kingdom, Thanksgiving is celebrated as a harvest festival. There is no special official date for the festival. The festival is usually held on Sunday of the harvest moon or another day near the autumnal equinox.
- In Japan, the Labor Thanksgiving Day is celebrated annually on November 23 as a national holiday.
- In Germany and German-speaking countries, a similar festival known as “Erntedankfest” (harvest festival) is celebrated.
- In China, people celebrate the “Mid-Autumn Festival”. This festival is much different and too old from American Thanksgiving. However, the cause of both festivals is the same. In the Mid-Autumn festival, the fall harvest is celebrated and gratitude is expressed to the changing season.
- In Vietnam, an equivalent of the American Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated, which is almost similar to the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival.
- In South Korea, a holiday known as “Chuseok Day” similar to Thanksgiving is celebrated in September.
- A Harvest Thanksgiving Festival known as “Thai Pongal” is celebrated in India and its neighboring country Sri Lanka. Some people also celebrate it in Malaysia.
7. Why Is Thanksgiving Called Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving is called Thanksgiving because on this day gratitude is expressed and thanks are given for a good year and good fortune.
8. Other Names For Thanksgiving
- In some countries, the equivalents of Thanksgiving festival are known by the names:
- Erntedankfest (Germany)
- Día de Acción de Gracias (Spain)
- Labor Thanksgiving Day (勤労感謝の日 Kinrō Kansha no Hi) (Japan)
- Thai Pongal (South India)
- Chuseok Day (South Korea)
9. What Does Thanksgiving Celebrate
- The Thanksgiving festival mainly celebrates the fall harvest and other blessings of the preceding year.
10. Why Is Thanksgiving Celebrated – The Reason For Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving Reason
- Thanksgiving is celebrated to honor and give thanks to God for the harvest and good fortune of the past year.
- To give thanks for the harvest and other blessings was the major reason for the Thanksgiving celebration.
- It is still the reason for the celebration of the holiday.
11. What Does Thanksgiving Mean – What Is Thanksgiving About
- In the Bible, Thanksgiving means the expression of gratitude and the acknowledgment of favors and blessings to God.
- In North America, Thanksgiving is a festival in which religious practices and a traditional meal is held. It is a commemoration of a harvest festival the Pilgrim Fathers celebrated in 1621.
- Thanksgiving is celebrated each year as a national holiday in America and Canada.
- It is a harvest festival and is also celebrated to give thanks for the blessings and good fortune of the past years.
- The Thanksgiving holiday is a symbol of intercultural peace, the sanctity of family and home, and the commemoration of the opportunity in America for settlers.
12. Importance Of Thanksgiving – Significance Of Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving is important because:
- It is one of the few holidays when all the members of scattered families come together. Thanksgiving strengthens family relationships and provides an opportunity for family members to join and engage in an intentional way.
- The roots of Thanksgiving are in American history, so the holiday provides an opportunity to confront the ugly truths of history. The festival remembers that American history, which led to shaping the current society was not so peaceful.
- Thanksgiving festival encourages thankfulness and provides hope amid darkness. It is a way of spirit to be always thankful to God for what we have and for all of his blessings.
13. How To Celebrate Thanksgiving
- People celebrate Thanksgiving in many different ways.
- Most of the families celebrate the festival with the traditions started on the first Thanksgiving, however, many families celebrate it in their own way.
- Some of the common traditions associated with Thanksgiving day are:
The Turkey Pardon
- Every year on Thanksgiving, the US President receives a gift of two living turkeys. The President pardons the turkeys traditionally at a ceremony in the White House.
The Thanksgiving Feast
- Traditional foods are a key part of the Thanksgiving celebrations. Usually, the entire family becomes involved in food preparation. Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, and a type of pie are the famous traditional foods of Thanksgiving. All the family members gather for the meal and people also invite their friends to celebrate the holiday. People always pray before start eating.
- At the festival of Thanksgiving, some people help others in the form of donations and providing food to the homeless and other needy people.
- Family members usually went on a long drive on Thanksgiving day. That is why Thanksgiving is one of the year’s busiest days for travel.
- In many cities, special parades are held on Thanksgiving day. A lot of people attend the parade and is also widely televised. The Thanksgiving parade held in New York City is the most famous parade and is known as Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
14. What Is Thanksgiving For Kids
- For kids, Thanksgiving is an amazing festival.
- They are taught through stories about the origin, feast, and why the Thanksgiving festival is celebrated every November.
- Kids enjoy many activities for the celebration of Thanksgiving, such as shopping, decorating the home, and most other activities.
- In fact, Thanksgiving brings a lot of fun and enjoyment for kids.
15. Thanksgiving Ideas For Kids – Fun Thanksgiving Activities For Kids
- The following are some of the Thanksgiving ideas for kids:
- Making Thanksgiving crafts
- Playing games
- Going on a long drive with family
- Watching football
Thanksgiving Games For Kids
- The following are some of the Thanksgiving games for kids:
- Thanksgiving mad libs
- Thanksgiving trivia game
- Roll a turkey dice game
- Pumpkin toss
- Autumn tic-tac-toe
Thanksgiving Songs For Kids
- Some of the most famous Thanksgiving songs are:
- “If You’re Thankful and You Know It” by the Kibomers
- “Five Little Turkeys” by The Learning Station
- “Thanksgiving Feast” by The Learning Station
- “The Turkey Hop” by the Kibomers
- “Gobble Gobble Turkey Wobble” by Koo Koo Kanga Roo
16. Thanksgiving Quotes For Kids
- The following are some of the famous Thanksgiving quotes:
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” (Cicero)
“All that we behold is full of blessings.” (William Wordsworth)
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” (John Fitzgerald Kennedy)
“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” (Frank A. Clark)
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” (Meister Eckhart)
17. Fun Family Games For Thanksgiving
- The following are some funny games families can enjoy on Thanksgiving:
- Thanksgiving Charades
- Thanksgiving family feud
- Thankful alphabet game
- Thanksgiving taboo
- Rolling a pumpkin
18. What Is The Origin Of Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving Origin
- In America, the concept of Thanksgiving developed in the New England colonies.
- However, the roots of Thanksgiving are also found in the history of other regions.
- The separatists and Puritans had a tradition of fasting days during difficulty, while feasting and celebration days to give thanks to God in times of plenty, especially after harvest.
- Thanksgiving is one of the festivals that span cultures and continents from thousands of years.
- In history, the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks paid tribute to their gods and feasted after the harvest of the fall season.
- The harvest festival of ancient Jews known as “Sukkot” have resemblance with the Thanksgiving festival.
- Historians say that Native Americans had a highly developed tradition of celebrating the fall harvest with feasting and fun long before the arrival of Europeans to America.
Origin Of Thanksgiving In America
- The origin of Thanksgiving in America dates back to 1621 when English settlers known as Pilgrim Fathers or just Pilgrims settled in Plymouth, Messacheustus.
- The region where they settled was an abandoned land of Native Americans, Patuxet Indians, who all died in a plaque.
- When winter came, it caused the death of about half of the settlers.
- One person of the Patuxet Indians named Squanto encountered the settlers.
- He was a slave in Europe and had learned English, as well as avoided plaque.
- Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn and catch an eel.
- Squanto served as an interpreter for pilgrims until the plaque succumbed to him too.
- The leader of the Wampanoag tribe, Massasoit, also provided food to the settlers during the first winter when their supply from England became insufficient.
- After the first harvest, the Pilgrims did a celebration for about 3 days at Plymouth.
- Their celebration is now known as the First Thanksgiving.
- Now Thanksgiving is celebrated every year to commemorate the Pilgrims’ first harvest celebration.
19. Who Invented Thanksgiving – How Did Thanksgiving Start
- The Pilgrims invented Thanksgiving to give thanks to God for their first harvest.
- Thanksgiving started when the Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth, Messucheusts, celebrated their first harvest.
- Celebration a festival after the harvest was a custom in England.
- In 1863, US President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday to reduce the panic of the American Civil War.
- They celebrated it on November 26, 1863, the final Thursday.
20. Where Was The First Thanksgiving
- The first Thanksgiving was in Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.
21. Who Attended The First Thanksgiving
- The remaining 50 Pilgrims (as many died in winter) and about 90 Native Americans of the Wampanoag tribe attended the first Thanksgiving.
22. When Was The First Thanksgiving – When Did Thanksgiving Begin
- The first Thanksgiving was in 1621.
- The exact time of the celebration is unknown, however, researchers describe it between September 21 and November 11.
23. The First Thanksgiving Facts – First Thanksgiving Facts For Kids
- The Pilgrims, who were the English separatists, celebrated the first Thanksgiving to gave thanks to God for a good harvest.
- The first Thanksgiving feast was organized by the Pilgrims leader Governor William Bradford.
- The Wampanoag Native Americans were invited on the feast, as without their help the pilgrims had no way to survive.
- A total of 140 people celebrated the first Thanksgiving; 50 pilgrims and about 90 Wampanoag Native Americans.
- Turkey was not on the menu of the first Thanksgiving, instead, it was five deer, which the Wampanoag Indians killed and presented to Pilgrims as a gift.
24. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Facts
- The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade was held in 1924 in New York.
- The American department store Macy’s organized and present this parade.
- The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and America’s Thanksgiving Parade (held in Detroit, Michigan) are the second oldest parades held in the USA.
- In initial years, the Macy’s Parade was Christmas themed.
- The parade is held on Thanksgiving day in Manhattan, lasts three hours from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and ends at the outside of Macy’s Herald Square.
- Since 1952, NBC televised Macy’s parade nationally.
- Originally in the parade, the animals from the Central Park Zoo (camels, tigers, donkeys, and elephants) walked the route. Later, the balloons were introduced to make the parade less terrifying and interesting.
How Long Has The Macy’s Parade Been Around
- The first Macy’s Parade was held in 1924.
- So it is 95 years old.
25. What Do You Eat On Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving Foods
- The main foods of the Thanksgiving day are:
- Stuffed and roasted turkey
- Alternative of turkey, such as ham, roasted duck or goose
- Side dishes are:
- Mashed potatoes
- Cranberry sauce
- Pumpkin pie
- Green bean casserole
- Sweet potatoes and winter squash
- Brown sugar
- Pecan pie
26. Why Is Thanksgiving Called Turkey Day
- Calling Thanksgiving day as “Turkey Day” was just a failed attempt of some people to make it interesting and sound cute.
27. Why Do We Eat Turkey On Thanksgiving
- The reason for eating turkey on Thanksgiving day is not that it was at the menu of pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving feast.
- It is uncertain how turkey became a special and major dish of Thanksgiving dinner.
- However, historians proposed some theories, such as:
- Records and letters of the early American settlers reveal that beef and fowl were at the menu of the first Thanksgiving feast. It is not sure that which type of fowl was served, however, the hunting trip for turkey before the feast is mentioned in a letter of settler Edward Winslow.
- In another theory, the Thanksgiving turkey is attributed to the Queen of England. According to this theory, a fleet of Spanish ships was on their way to attack England in the 16th century but became submerged. The Queen was eating dinner when she was informed about the sinking of the fleet. She became so excited that she ordered for serving another turkey or goose. According to some historians, the Queen’s action was an inspiration for early settlers and they roasted turkey (as wild turkeys were widely available in North America) instead of goose.
- The wild turkey is a bird indigenous to North America. The former US President Benjamin Franklin wanted that Turkey would be a more suitable national bird for the USA rather than the bald eagle. Most Americans opposed him. Turkey did not become the national bird of the USA, however, it became the bird of Thanksgiving day.
28. Thanksgiving Sport
- American football (gridiron or football in the US and Canada) is Thanksgiving sport in American culture.
29. What Is The History Of Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving History For Kids
- The history of Thanksgiving starts when a small ship known as Mayflower arrived at the Mescheustus Bey in 1620.
- There were 102 passengers on the ship (now known as Pilgrims) who were separatists and abandoned Plymouth, England to seek a new homeland where they could freely practice their religion.
- The first winter proved extremely brutal for the Pilgrims and about half of them died of diseases and malnutrition.
- After some days of their settlement, an Abenaki Indian encountered them.
- Several days later, the Abenaki Indian brought another person named Squanto, who was also a Native American of Patuxet tribe and was formerly kidnapped by an English captain and was sold into slavery, where he learned English.
- Squanto taught the Pilgrims the cultivation of corn, catching fish in the river, avoiding poisonous plants, and the sap extraction from maple trees.
- Squanto also helped them to make an alliance with the local Wampanoag Native American tribe.
- At the first successful harvest of corn, the Pilgrims’ chief Governor William Bradford organized a celebration to give thanks to God and to Wampanoags who helped them to survive.
- He invited people from the Wampanoag tribe including the leader Massasoit.
- About 90 of the Native Americans and the remaining 50 Pilgrims celebrated for three days.
- So they celebrated the first Thanksgiving in some days between September and November.
- In 1623, the Pilgrims celebrated their second Thanksgiving in which religious fasting was held and the end of a long drought was celebrated.
30. History Of Thanksgiving In America – Thanksgiving History USA
- In the United States, the first Thanksgiving festival was celebrated by the Pilgrims and Native Americans.
- Later in American history, it was the Continental Congress that designate one or more days of Thanksgiving in a year during the American Revolution.
- The national government of America proclaimed the first Thanksgiving in 1789, during the presidency of George Washington.
- On Thanksgiving day, president George Washington called the citizens to express their gratitude for the successful conclusion of the War of Independence and for the ratification of the American Constitution.
- New York was the first American state, which officially adopted Thanksgiving as an annual holiday in 1817.
- In 1827, Sarah Josef Hale (a magazine editor and writer) launched a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.
- Her efforts finally became successful and President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863 during the American Civil War.
31. Thanksgiving History Native American – Thanksgiving Native American History
- In American history, Thanksgiving was the start of a friendship between settlers and Native Americans.
- They celebrated the first Thanksgiving together.
- Native Americans also have a tradition of celebrating the fall harvest.
- Today, Thanksgiving for Native Americans is the day of mourning.
- It reminds them the brutal genocide of millions of their people, unceasing assault of their culture, and robbery of their lands.
- In their National Day of Mourning, the participants honor the Native ancestors and their struggle for survival.
32. What Is Canadian Thanksgiving – Canadian Thanksgiving Facts
- In Canada, Thanksgiving (also known as Canadian Thanksgiving) is a public holiday since 1857.
- It is commonly celebrated on the 3rd Monday of October.
- It is not a public holiday in the four Atlantic provinces of Canada; Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
- Like American Thanksgiving, it is also a harvest festival and to thank the Almighty God for the blessings of the preceding year.
- However, Canadian Thanksgiving is older than American Thanksgiving.
- In the French-speaking province (Quebec), it is known with the name Action de grâce.
What Does Canadian Thanksgiving Celebrate
- Canadian Thanksgiving has roots in the European traditional harvest festival.
- It is celebrated to give thanks to Almighty God for the blessings, successful harvest, and good fortune of the past year.
33. Origin Of Canadian Thanksgiving – Canadian Thanksgiving History
- The native people of North America have a custom of celebrating the fall harvest from about thousand of years.
- The Canadian Thanksgiving is older than the Thanksgiving festival in the USA.
- Some historians describe that the first Thanksgiving in North America was celebrated in 1578, during the Martin Frobisher’s voyage from England searching for the Northwest Passage.
- Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew celebrated the first Thanksgiving in the region now known as Nunavut to thank God for their safe arrival.
- Later in 1604, French settlers and explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in Canada.
- They held a feast of thanks at the formation of the Order of Good Cheer and also invited their First Nation Neighbours to share food with them.
- This occurred about 17 years before the first American Thanksgiving of the pilgrims.
- In 1763, New France was handed over to Britain at the end of the Seven Years’ War. After this occasion, the citizens of Halifax (a municipality in Nova Scotia province) held a special Thanksgiving day.
- During the American Revolution, British loyal refugees migrated to Canada and brought the tradition of American Thanksgiving with them.
34. Thanksgiving Australia
- In Australia, Thanksgiving is not a holiday.
- It is celebrated only in Norfolk Island on the last Wednesday of November.
- The American whaling ships brought the festival to the Island.
What Day Is Thanksgiving In Australia
- The last Wednesday of November is Thanksgiving day in Australia.
36. Thanksgiving Fun Facts For Kids – Interesting Facts About Thanksgiving
- In the United States, two living Turkeys are presented to the President on Thanksgiving day. The President pardons the turkeys and so they spend their life on a form.
- About 88% of US citizens cook turkey as the main dish for their Thanksgiving feast.
- The Friday after Thanksgiving day is known as Black Friday, which is the year’s biggest shopping day.
- Thanksgiving became a national holiday due to the efforts of Sarah Joseph Hale, who is now known as the mother of Thanksgiving day.
- In 1920, the first professional football game was played on Thanksgiving day.
- Once, Thanksgiving was celebrated in the USA on the 3rd Thursday of November.
- Every year, around 46 million turkeys are eaten in the USA on Thanksgiving day.
- In each November and December, Butterball answers more than 100,000 questions about cooking turkey through its Butterball Turkey Hotline.
- There are three towns in the US named after turkey, the nation’s favorite bird for Thanksgiving.
- For most of the US citizens, the leftover of Thanksgiving is more enjoyable than the meal itself.