America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, Michigan. A popular event for almost 90 years, America’s Thanksgiving Parade® is one of the country’s oldest and most celebrated parades producing amazing events for millions of people including the world renowned and ever-expanding parade of nearly 300 papier-mâché heads, some of which date back to the 1940s. Other popular facets of the parade include large helium balloons and the Distinguished Clown Corps handing out candies and beads.
Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. The Thanksgiving holiday’s history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in the United States, Canada, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and Brazil, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.
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