Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. While it may have been religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.
It is sometimes casually referred to as Turkey Day.
In Canada, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October, which is Columbus Day in the United States. In the United States, it falls on the fourth Thursday of November.
The precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed. Although Americans commonly believe that the first Thanksgiving happened in 1621 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, there is some evidence for an earlier harvest celebration by Spanish explorers in Florida during 1565. There was also a celebration two years before Plymouth (in 1619) in Virginia. There was a Thanksgiving of sorts in Newfoundland, modern-day Canada in 1578 but it was to celebrate a homecoming instead of the harvest.
Thanksgiving Day is also celebrated in Leiden, in the Netherlands. A different holiday which uses the same name is celebrated at a similar time of year in the island of Grenada.
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