"Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. It is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. While originally religious, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday albeit of historical, legendary, and symbolic significance.
The date and location of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention. Though the earliest attested Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida, the traditional "first Thanksgiving" is venerated as having occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621, shared with the Native Americans. There was also an early "day of thanksgiving" recognizing the arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred on the James River, Virginia, on December 4, 1619.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on on the second Monday of October in Canada. In America, Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members and friends. It is a day for watching football games, parades, and television specials. Thanksgiving also marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Thus, just as the history of the early settlers in North America reflects both self-interest and the guidance of God, the celebration of Thanksgiving has come to be equally mixed. Nevertheless, this holiday provides a valuable opportunity for the strengthening of family bonds, expressions of gratitude, and, at least for some, a reminder of the hopes and struggles of both those who already inhabited this land and those who sailed from Europe as new settlers."
(Above from this page, where you can read more if you like).
I've posted this today because today is Canadian Thanksgiving.. Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!