At this time of year, I always feel particularly envious of Americans: I think the tradition of Thanksgiving is a truly great one. Of course, I love the food - which is not so unlike the British Christmas Dinner really - but for once it is something more than the food that appeals to me. Thanksgiving is a tradition that encompasses everyone in America, regardless of culture or religion, and doesn't involve presents and wrapping and shopping: it is a feast that celebrates the act of feasting. You can't get purer than that!
Actually, not so pure is the date it is now celebrated. Thanksgiving always used to be the 4th Thursday of November but - under pressure from the shopkeepers of America - President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed it to the 3rd Thursday in November in order to give more shopping days before Christmas, given that Americans do not move their holiday attentions to Christmas until Thanksgiving is out of the way. That is the power of commerce: food for thought!
Posted by Nigella on the 19th Nov 2012