Happy Thanksgiving

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American history tells us that the first Thanksgiving celebration was in 1621, when Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast.  Two hundred years later, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday. 
 
In the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, while in Canada, the celebration is on the second Monday of October.  What about Thanksgiving in other countries?  Japan celebrates Labor Thanksgiving Day, honoring hard work and community involvement on November 23.  On the first Sunday in October, Germany enjoys a harvest festival giving thanks for a good year and good fortune.  
 
Grenada, the “Spice Isle” with its many nutmeg plantations, commemorates the anniversary of American soldiers helping to restore order to their country after the death of communist leader Maurice Bishop in 1983.  Norfolk Island is another Pacific island that celebrates the American holiday after Isaac Robinson, an American trader, introduced the tradition in the 1890s.  Liberia (Land of the Free), founded by freed U.S. slaves in the early 1800s, has acknowledged the first Thursday of November as National Thanksgiving Day since the early 1880s.    
 
Traditions vary, but most of them include food – lots of food.  Families gather around the table laden with their family favorites – green bean casserole in the Midwest, pecan and sweet potato pies in the South, chestnut stuffing on the East coast, and many meals centered on the bird – turkey, duck or goose. 
 
Gathering with family and friends seems to be a universal custom, and offering assistance and compassion to the downtrodden and forgotten are traditional for many. 
 
However you celebrate Thanksgiving, we at ProHealth are grateful every day for you, our readers.
 
May this Thanksgiving be a day of peace and comfort for you. 

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