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I’m very excited for my first Thanksgiving Day. It’ll be my first because this holiday doesn’t happen in Brazil. So, for those that don’t know about it, I’ll try to explain a little bit.

First of all Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United States as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Here in United States, it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

In 1621, the Plymouth Governor William Bradford organized a feast to celebrate the first successful harvest and invited a group of Wampanoag Indians to the party. The feast lasted three days and, according to chronicler Edward Winslow, Bradford sent four men on a “fowling mission” to prepare for the feast and the Wampanoag guests brought five deer to the party. And ever since then, the story goes, Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.

Nowadays, Thanksgiving Day is a time of family reunions, parades and watching football games on television, or just a day to spend time together. It isn't a religious holiday. But it does have a spiritual meaning. 

Some Americans travel long distances to be with their families. For many people, Thanksgiving is the only time when all members of a family gather together. They eat a large dinner, which is the main part of the celebration. 

The star of the Thanksgiving feast is the turkey! Roasted turkey is the main dish in a traditional American Thanksgiving meal. This large bird roasts in the oven all morning. The smell of celery, onion and herbs fill the house and makes everyone hungry.

Two traditional side dishes are mashed potatoes and sweet potato casseroles. And there is another -- stuffing -- a bread-and-vegetable mixture that is literally stuffed into the turkey and then baked. The traditional dessert is the famous pumpkin pie. 

Of course, the menu may vary according to taste and traditions of every family, but the basics are that!

Can't wait to live this experience and to give thanks for all the blessings I received this year.



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