Why is Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday?
Thanksgiving Day is one of the most important holidays in the United States. Historically, this day is celebrated to give thanks a bountiful harvest. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in Canada and United States. However, Canada holds it every second Monday of October while in the US, it is held every fourth Thursday of November.
Thanksgiving Day originated from Europe and Native culture. Since British occupied US, there were traditions that were passed on to the next generations and one of those is the celebration of Thanksgiving Day. In Europe, there are festivals held to give show gratitude to God before and after the harvest. After the hard work, people compensated this with a celebration. They rejoiced in the community by eating together.
This festival tradition was brought to the US and Canada and until now, Thanksgiving is still celebrated to give thanks not only of the bountiful harvest but for good health and life as well. It was in 1941 when the United States declared every fourth Thursday of November as a legal holiday because of Thanksgiving Day. It was also the American Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher who gave much contribution for the origin of Thanksgiving Day.
Before it was declared as a legal holiday, Thanksgiving Day was held every last Thursday of November under the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Others assumed that he may have chosen this date because of the Mayflower’s landing at Cape Cod which on November 21, 1621.
It was President Franklin Roosevelt who moved the Thanksgiving on the third Thursday for economic and business reasons. Franklin believed that when it will be moved on the third Thursday, holiday season will be extended to help businesses. But then, the people did not agree with the set date so it was legally proclaimed on the fourth Thursday of November.