#TheFastFive Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to know about American Thanksgiving

It’s that time of the year again- leaves are falling off the trees, blanket scarves are being worn by the masses, and pumpkin spice lattes are sipped in unison. It is probable that you may have heard about Thanksgiving; maybe you have even been invited to Thanksgiving dinner! To many international students, Thanksgiving is a completely new concept. Here is #TheFastFive or everything you need to know about Thanksgiving!

1). Thanksgiving originated in 1621

Thanksgiving in the United States is currently celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November, but the very first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims and European settlers after their first harvest in 1621. This celebratory feast lasted three days! Today, American Thanksgiving is celebrated nation-wide usually in the form of a feast among family and friends.

2). Thanksgiving = Giving Thanks

With our busy schedules, social life, and studies, it is often difficult to find the time to reflect on the things we are thankful for. Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, which means to show appreciation for the good things in our lives. During this time of gratitude, be sure to let the important people in your life know how much they mean to you as well as doing random acts of kindness such as smiling at strangers or holding the door for someone. Even a little act of kindness can go a very long way.

3). Thanksgiving in Canada versus the United States

Canadian Thanksgiving takes place in early October while American Thanksgiving takes place in late November! This is because Canada’s harvest days arrive earlier than the United States. Therefore, it only makes sense for Canada to celebrate its fall harvest during their fall and harvest time – or maybe they’re just too hungry to wait!

4). Thanksgiving Traditions

Start the day with an indulgent, relaxing breakfast that is both satisfying and different to what you normally eat. Take some time for yourself before you see your friends, whether it is a walk outside, a yoga class, or some meditation. Be sure to write down the people, places, and things you are thankful for. Stay connected with family members far away in the form of a virtual video call or a quick phone call. If you are invited to a Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to attend and do not be surprised if you are asked to bring something or to help cook the dinner. For an easy dish you can bring to the Thanksgiving dinner table, click here.

5). New Tradition: Black Friday

Taking place the very next day, Black Friday marks the end of Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and preparation. In the United States, most of the major shopping retailers open very early or more recently during overnight hours and offer special promotions. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year.

Find out what activities are taking place at ILSC-New York and ILSC-San Francisco on Thanksgiving. We look forward to hearing YOUR Thanks Giving experience! Use #myilsc to share with us

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