On the fourth Thursday of each November, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States. It is a very important day in the calendar of Americans, and we receive a lot of them in the hostel, so we couldn’t ignore it.
THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY’S HISTORY
Thanksgiving Day can be traced back to the 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the religious refugees from England known popularly as the Pilgrims invited the local Native Americans to a harvest feast after a particularly successful growing season.
The previous year’s harvests had failed and in the winter of 1620 half of the pilgrims had starved to death. Luckily for the rest, members of the local Wampanoag tribe taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn, beans, and squash (the Three Sisters); catch fish and collect seafood.
Ever since 1621, Thanksgiving has been nationwide celebrated. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln officially fixed the celebration on the last Thursday of November, thus becoming a national holiday.
Although today the morality of the facts is questioned, because a slavery past is hidden with a beautiful story about goodness, the important thing is that the tradition that remains today is a family celebration as important as Christmas, and in some cases even more important! It is a day to feel grateful and share delicious dishes with your loved ones.
THANKSGIVING IN SPAIN AND THE REST OF THE WORLD
Thanksgiving means sitting around a table full of food, it is the day when you eat the most in the United States. On the menu, the roast turkey must be present with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and green beans. OMG really… why don’t we celebrate this in Spain too?
If you think about it, we have already imported other American traditions: We dress up in Halloween, and children go out to do trick or treat. We have also adopted Black Friday and we take the streets on the fourth Friday of November to buy all kinds of things with good discounts.
But Thanksgiving, on the other hand, it is celebrated in very few homes in Spain. Maybe globalization makes this tradition settle in our country someday. Of course, the concept is very noble: to sit down to dinner with family and friends and thank for the people and the good things that you have in your lives.
In Canada, Thanksgiving is also an important date, but it is celebrated the second Monday in October. It is a day to give thanks regardless of religion or provenance.
Germany also celebrates its own harvest party. It is called “Erntedank” and takes place on the first Sunday of October. It is popular to have a stew of meat and vegetables. Although the origin of the festivity is not known exactly, it has religious connotations and churches are decorated with fruits.
Thanksgiving Day in Japan is celebrated on November 23 and is a national holiday. It has its origin in a festival of cereal harvest. At present, companies close and thanks to the workers for doing a good job and commemorate the effort and wealth that this generates.
Credit: Yinan Chen
CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING AT CATS HOSTEL MADRID
No matter how amazing traveling is, we know that it is hard to be away from the family on such an important date. In Cats Hostel we have always wanted all our travelers to feel at home, we say that we are a great family! And the last Thursday of November is not going to be different.
We must say we are quite jealous of this tradition. We’ve been watching it in the American movies from the beginning of TV times, our mouths watering at the sight of that big fat turkey on the table. Every year we go to the supermarket around these days full of hope to find a turkey in the meat section and finally being able to celebrate the American Thanksgiving. We always leave crestfallen.
If you are very excited to eat a sophisticated dinner, we can tell you which restaurants in Madrid are having special menus (these change according to the year). But if what you really appreciate of this experience is sharing food (and drink!) with other international friends. Then we invite you to join our own Thanksgiving!
And we are making it even better than in the movies. For those nostalgic Americans, and for the jealous people like us, we are having a delicious dinner (all-you-can-eat), one hour of unlimited beer and sangria, live music and Pub crawl for the amazing price of 15 euros.
Book now. Join us. Be Grateful!