What Day Of The Month Is Thanksgiving This Year?

by oaeen

Thanksgiving, a cherished holiday in the United States and Canada, holds deep historical and cultural significance. It is traditionally celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. This article delves into the origins of Thanksgiving, its evolution over time, and its place in modern society, while also exploring how the date of Thanksgiving is determined each year.


Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition that brings families and communities together to give thanks for the blessings of the past year. Its roots trace back to early harvest festivals celebrated by indigenous peoples and European settlers in North America. Over centuries, Thanksgiving has evolved into a national holiday celebrated with feasts, parades, and expressions of gratitude.

Origins of Thanksgiving

The origins of Thanksgiving in North America can be traced to different historical events and cultural practices:

Early Harvest Celebrations: Indigenous peoples across North America held ceremonies and feasts to give thanks for successful harvests long before European settlers arrived.

First Thanksgiving in Plymouth: The widely recognized first Thanksgiving in the United States took place in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans celebrated a successful harvest together.

National Recognition: Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln played significant roles in establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the United States during times of national strife.

Evolution of Thanksgiving

As American society changed over time, so did the traditions associated with Thanksgiving:

Historical Changes: The date of Thanksgiving was not fixed until the late 19th century, leading to variability in its celebration across different states and regions.

Cultural Influences: Thanksgiving became a symbol of national unity and gratitude, incorporating diverse cultural elements and culinary traditions from various immigrant communities.

Modern Observance: Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated with family gatherings, parades, football games, and charitable activities. It marks the beginning of the holiday season in the United States.

Determining the Date of Thanksgiving

The date of Thanksgiving is a product of historical precedent and legislative action:

Establishing a Fixed Date: In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the last Thursday of November, amidst the Civil War.

Changes in Date: In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November to extend the holiday shopping season during the Great Depression.

Current Date: Since 1941, Thanksgiving has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November as per a federal law passed by Congress.

Celebrating Thanksgiving Today

Modern-day Thanksgiving celebrations reflect a blend of tradition and contemporary practices:

Family Gatherings: Many Americans travel long distances to be with loved ones, sharing meals that often feature turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.

Community Engagement: Charitable activities such as food drives and volunteer work are common during Thanksgiving, highlighting the spirit of giving back.

Cultural Significance: Thanksgiving continues to evolve with the inclusion of diverse perspectives and expressions of gratitude in a multicultural society.


Thanksgiving remains a cornerstone of American culture, embodying themes of gratitude, community, and historical reflection. Its observance on the fourth Thursday of November is a testament to its enduring importance in the national fabric. As society progresses, the traditions associated with Thanksgiving continue to adapt while preserving the essence of unity and appreciation for abundance.

FAQs About Thanksgiving

1. Why do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving to commemorate a tradition of giving thanks for the blessings of the harvest and the preceding year. It originated from early European settlers in North America who held feasts to express gratitude for a successful harvest and to foster unity with Native American tribes.

2. What day is Thanksgiving in each year?

In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. This date was established by legislation in 1941 to provide a consistent observance nationwide. In Canada, Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday of October.

3. Why is Thanksgiving always on a Thursday?

The tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving on a Thursday traces back to historical precedent and presidential proclamations. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November in 1863. Later, in 1941, it was officially fixed as the fourth Thursday of November by U.S. law.

4. Why is Thanksgiving on the 23rd?

Thanksgiving is not always on the 23rd; its date varies each year. The fourth Thursday of November can fall between November 22nd and November 28th. The specific date within this range depends on the calendar year and is determined by counting back from the last day of November.

Related Articles


Welcome to FactinHistory.com! Embark on a journey through time with us as we uncover the fascinating stories behind significant events from around the globe. From groundbreaking discoveries to pivotal moments in human history, our platform is your window to understanding the past and its profound impact on our present and future.


Copyright © 2023 factinhistory.com