Thanksgiving Day in US
Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November. UATV English Editor, American Zachary Nelson, shared some of the holiday’s traditions with us
For the third year in a row, UATV English employee Zachary Nelson celebrated Thanksgiving Day along with his Ukrainian friends in Kyiv.
He adheres to the American traditions of cooking poultry, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
“Turkey is an exclusive North American bird, and pumpkin is the symbol of the harvest. Potato is a symbol of American native food,” he said.
A small group of friends gathered at the table with Nelson on Thursday (Nov. 28). While normally, one would cook a turkey, today Nelson replaced the turkey with a duck.
On the eve of the dinner, Nelson recalls how he celebrated this day with his family in the United States. Despite the cold weather, they would always play American football, dividing the team by generation.
“After that we’d go to my aunt’s or uncle’s house, we’d have a huge dinner with a line of people. Everything was like in a cafeteria, just taking all the food and eating it. And then some people would take naps, and some people would watch football. Football is very central to Thanksgiving in the United States. Even though I’m not a fan of football, that is probably one of the only times that I can actually sit and watch it on TV,” he said.
Another tradition is the thank-you list. Every year, Americans remember what they are grateful for.
“The most important thing for me from Thanksgiving is just having a day to be thankful. In the United States we are very lucky, we are very blessed with many many things that most people don’t have. And we have a culture where we always want more – whether it’s a new phone, new clothes, new house, etc., new car. We take one day to sit and say ‘Thank you,’ – to whoever, just to be thankful for everything that we have because it’s a lot, and we should be thankful for it,” Nelson said.
Thanksgiving in the United States goes back to the year 1620, when the first settlers – the Pilgrims – from England arrived on the shores of America. According to the legend, many of them did not survive the winter and died of starvation. Native Americans – the Wampanoag tribe – helped the survivors farm the land. The next autumn, the colonists gathered a rich harvest. To show their gratitude, legend has it the Pilgrims invited the Wampanoag to dinner.