Guyana reels under the impact of the United States in every arena. For one, young Guyana celebrates every American holiday with gusto. Even the language of young Guyana is now American. Who can explain why the August holidays are considered summer when all year round is summer in our corner of the world?
We have Halloween complete with goblins and other characters far removed from the Guyanese culture. Now we are having Thanksgiving dinners complete with turkey.
There is Super Bowl, the culmination of a season that is only known in North America, and is called football. It draws Guyanese to television sets, to clubs and bars which prepare for mammoth sales. Guyanese have favourite teams all of them with zany names that are in no way related to anything Guyanese.
Yesterday, most Americans at home and around the world celebrated Thanksgiving which is a national holiday on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a lavish and the most revered and quintessential holiday in the US. More people in the US celebrate Thanksgiving than they do Christmas.
Thanksgiving can be traced to the 1621 celebration at Plymouth now present day Massachusetts where the Pilgrims invited the Native Americans to a harvest feast after a successful farming season. The three-day feast included goose, lobster, cod and deer and a special church service to give thanks to the Almighty for a bumper crop.
Thanksgiving has been celebrated on and off in the United States since October 3, 1789, following the proclamation by President George Washington. However, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November every year.
It was meant to give praise to God. However, in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) designated Thanksgiving Day to be on the fourth Thursday in November every year because there are sometimes five Thursdays in the month. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.
Thanksgiving Day is celebrated with lot of fervor and merry-making in America. It is a festive time when people visit their family and friends, give thanks for what they have, reunite with family and friends and partake in meals. Carved turkeys, pumpkin pie, corn and cranberry sauce are the traditional dishes adorning the dinner tables in almost every house.
A time for feasting, Thanksgiving epitomizes the holiday mood of most Americans, including Guyanese-Americans of every creed and race. In most instances, there have been distinctive Guyanese touches to the menu; a bit more spice, perhaps even a little curry on the side and there would undoubtedly be the typical Guyanese enjoyment of a holiday feast, with friends and family around for a good party and the chance to enjoy good food and drink.
Thanksgiving Day traditionally kicks off the Christmas holiday season in the United States. It is considered one of the busiest periods for travel in the United States. The following day after Thanksgiving Day is known as “Black Friday” which is one of the busiest shopping days in the United States. On this day, people take advantage of the huge promotional sales offered by the major retail stores, most of which are open at midnight on the following day.
The shopping spree helps most of the store owners to register maximum sales and profits, which in standard accounting practice is written in black.
Parades have also become an integral part of the Thanksgiving holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Macy’s New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some three million spectators and an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.
Will this too soon become a feature in Guyana?
Jul 23, 2018By Sean Devers In the first ever International Cricket match in Guyana without Radio Commentary, Windies slumped to a 48 –run defeat to Bangladesh at Providence in the first ODI in the three match...
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