Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Today is Thanksgiving Day, celebrated like a British Christmas with family gatherings and a turkey and pumpkin pie feast.

It's origins are a mix of harvest thanksgivings celebrated by the Pilgrims in the early 1600s, thanksgiving for settlers' safe arrivals, Puritan prayers of thanksgiving to God, and thanksgivings for rain in a time of drought and military victories. Abraham Lincoln was the first to decree the fourth Thursday in November as a national Thanksgiving Day.

An entertaining video of this is on the home page of the history website.

In the run up this week cookery programmes like Emeril have been showing how best to cook the bird and accompaniments - interestingly potatoes are mashed not roasted - and shops are selling turkey-themed table ware.

In San Fran, Boudin's the bakery has turkey-shaped bread and there are fun turkey races usually at Ocean Beach but this year because of the oil spill in Golden Gate Park.

Like our Boxing Day, there are also football matches and in New York is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thanksgiving marks the countdown to Christmas, which is reflected on TV with the classic 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street.

With all of the excitement it is easy to forget that this is a country at war as in our little part of the city and on news programmes before the day, there has been little sign of it. No doubt
there are thousands of families who are praying that they will be able to be thankful that their loved one is alive.

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