This Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. The writer O. Henry called it the one day that is purely American. Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. But it has spiritual meaning. Some Americans attend religious services on the day before Thanksgiving, or on Thanksgiving morning. Others travel long distances to be with their families. They have a large dinner, which is the main part of the celebration.
For many Americans, Thanksgiving is the only time when all members of a family gather. The holiday is a time of family reunion.
Thanksgiving week is generally one of the busiest travel times of the year. Many Americans who usually visit family and friends by plane are driving shorter distances instead this week. Some mental-health experts say the attacks have frightened people. They say people feel safer and happier close to home.
More than any other holiday, Thanksgiving is a celebration of family and home. Many people say that this year they are especially thankful for their families and friends and the good things in their lives. On Thanksgiving, people enjoy a long day of cooking, eating and talking. The traditional meal almost always includes a turkey with a bread mixture cooked inside.
Other traditional Thanksgiving foods served with turkey are sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie. Stores are said to sell more food at Thanksgiving than at any other time of the year. And many people eat more food at Thanksgiving than at any other time of the year.
Over the years, Americans have added new traditions to their Thanksgiving celebration. For example, a number of professional and university football games are played on Thanksgiving Day. Some of the games are broadcast on national television.