What is Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday in both USA and Canada, with the US celebration falling on the fourth Thursday in November and the Canadian one on the second Monday in November.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 by the Pilgrims who were giving thanks for the harvest. The previous year the harvest had failed and many of them had died. The Native Americans had taught them how to grow corn, squash and beans, and how to catch fish. A typical Thanksgiving meal includes butternut squash, corn and beans alongside Turkey and potatoes.

The first national Thanksgiving was celebrated on 26th November 1789. It was proclaimed by George Washington as a time for being thankful for what you have and for counting life’s blessings.

Today Thanksgiving is celebrated with parades and a family meal, and many Americans consider it a more important holiday than Christmas.


Lughnasadh pronounced loo-na-sa takes place on the 1st of August. It’s a pagan festival which marks the beginning of the harvest season. It’s named after the Irish god Lugh who was the god of skills, crafts and swordsmanship amongst other things.

Originally it was a feast which was held in honour of Lugh’s mother who had died of exhaustion after clearing the Irish land for agriculture.

Lughnasadh is one of the eight dates in the pagan Wheel of the Year. These days it is celebrated by giving thanks for the harvest to come. Sometimes they will bake a corn god which they will sacrifice and eat. If it rains on the day it is seen as Lugh’s blessing.

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