Today is a traditional day in the United States and Canada. It is called Thanksgiving Day. This special day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.
The traditional “first Thanksgiving” is the celebration that occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621. Elementary school teacher Robyn Gioia has argued that the earliest attested “thanksgiving” celebration in what is now the United States was celebrated by the Spanish on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members and friends.
Expressing gratitude is a core social value. We have to be thankful for the many things we receive each day. The bright sunshine, clean fresh air, political liberties, the gift of life, food on the table and a trillion of other things we take for granted.
We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day in Panama. However, I know many families who express appreciation to other people, and of course our Good Lord, for favors and blessings received. For example, my wife and I pray at the table before eating. For us having food on the table every day, is a blessing from our Lord. I know of people who go to sleep with an empty stomach. That is sad. At night, we also pray together, and thank our Lord for having lived another day. Just being alive and breathing is a blessing so big, I have no idea how to express it in words.
To each and every one of you, my dear readers of Lingua Franca, Happy Thanksgiving! It feels great to be alive and well! Good Day.