History of Thanksgiving!

[History of the thanksgiving in the United State]

The first national holiday of Thanksgiving was observed for a slightly different reason than celebration of the harvest—it was in honor of the creation of the new United States Constitution! In 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation designating November 26 of that year as a “Day of Public Thanksgiving” to recognize the role of providence in creating the new United States and the new federal Constitution.

Washington was in his first term as president, and a young nation had just emerged successfully from the Revolution. Washington called on the people of the United States to acknowledge God for affording them “an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” This was the first time Thanksgiving was celebrated under the new Constitution.

[History of the thanksgiving in Canada]

The first national Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated in the Province of Canada in 1859. It was organized at the behest of leaders of the Protestant clergy, who appropriated the holiday of American Thanksgiving, which was first observed in 1777 and established as a national day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” in 1789. In Canada, the holiday was intended for the “public and solemn” recognition of God’s mercies. As historian Peter Stevens has noted, some citizens “objected to this government request, saying it blurred the distinction between church and state that was so important to many Canadians.”

The first Thanksgiving after Confederation was observed on 5 April 1872. A national civic holiday rather than a religious one, it was held to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from an illness. Thanksgiving was first observed as an annual event in Canada on 6 November 1879. The date for each of the following years, as well as a unifying theme for which to give thanks (usually concerning the harvest, though anniversaries related to the British monarchy were also common), was determined annually by Parliament. The holiday occurred as late in the year as 6 December and even coincided several times with American Thanksgiving. The most popular date to observe Thanksgiving was the third Monday in October, when the fall weather is generally still amenable to outdoor activities.

[History of the thanksgiving in Korea]

Chuseok is one of Korea’s three major holidays, along with Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) and Dano (the 5th day of the 5th lunar month). Chuseok is also referred to as hangawi. Han means “big” and gawi means “the ides of the 8th lunar month or autumn.” According to the lunar calendar, the harvest moon, the largest full moon of the year, appears on the 15th day of the eighth month.

In the morning of the day of Chuseok, family members gather at their homes to hold memorial services called charye in honor of their ancestors. Formal charye services are held twice a year: during Seollal and Chuseok. During Chuseok’s charye, freshly harvested rice, alcohol and songpyeon (half-moon rice cakes) are prepared as an offering to the family’s ancestors. After the service, family members sit down together at the table to enjoy delicious food.

Another traditional custom of Chuseok is seongmyo, or visit to the ancestral graves. Seongmyo is an old tradition that is still carried out to show respect and appreciation for family ancestors. During seongmyo, family members remove weeds that have grown around the graves and pay respect to the deceased with a simple memorial service.

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