The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast of thanksgiving in the early days of the American colonies almost four hundred years ago.
In 1620, a group of Pilgrims settled in the New World, but their first winter there was difficult, and they had arrived too late to grow many vegetables. Half of the group died from disease. Next spring the Indians taught them how to grow corn, a new food for the colonist.
In autumn, the colonists had much to be thankful for, so they planned a feast inviting their Indians neighbours. This feast was repeated the following years.
Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. In 1952, congress of the United States ruled that after 1941 the 4th Thursday in November would be a federal holiday.
Nowadays, this is time of family reunions and holiday meals; turkeys, pumpkin pie and Indian corn. A time of holiday parades, fetes and fairs, eating at restaurants, shopping and football matches that are organized every year to mark the occasion.
Thanksgiving weekend is the official beginning of the Christmas season in the USA. Lots of people have more days off these weekend than they have at Christmas, so they go back home to spend time with their family and friends.
Thanksgiving History: http://www.thanksgiving-day.org/origin-thanksgiving-day.html
Thanksgiving Recipes: http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Holidays-and-Events/Thanksgiving/main.aspx