Author: Peter Manley
Don’t you wish Thanksgiving was on a specific day of the November month all the time? While most other holidays are celebrated on a specific day of the month (such as the 25th of December for Christmas), Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that’s evasive and seems to need a bit of planning to stay in tune with.
Especially if you’re going to be hosting the big food day, arranging travels to spend the holiday with distant loved ones, or simply trying to send out invitations for the correct date, it takes a good level of early planning to help make Thanksgiving a time of fun and enjoyment. Obviously, part of the planning piece of the puzzle is knowing what day the holiday falls on in the first place.
With that being said, what day is Thanksgiving falling on in 2019, anyway? Just last year the holiday was on November 22. This year, however, it’s a bit late. - to the tune of nearly an entire week late! While we can simply tell you what day the holiday is going to fall on this year, we figured it would be even more helpful to explain why it’s late, and just why we celebrate Thanksgiving in the first place.
For all of you wanting to learn more about the evasive food-focused holiday, keep on reading. We’re going back in time to share a little history about Thanksgiving.
Why Do We Celebrate Thanksgiving Anyway?
You probably already know the history of Thanksgiving involving the pilgrims and Native Americans and all. But did you know that President Abraham Lincoln was the first president to make Thanksgiving a national observance?
The holiday as we know it is actually inspired by the harvest feast that was held by the Pilgrims in 1621. Members of the Native American Wampanoag tribe attended the feast as well, bearing an abundance of food. Rather than being a religious feast, the feast was simply a celebration of the peace between the people and the abundant harvest.
There was so much food, that the feasting lasted for a span of three days. This is why Thanksgiving, while indeed a day to celebrate what we’re thankful for, is a day of heavy and abundant feasting.
What Day Is Thanksgiving Falling On In 2019?
Officially, Thanksgiving is celebrated every fourth Thursday of the month of November. For 2019, this means that Thanksgiving is on November 28, 2019.
Why Do We Celebrate Thanksgiving On The Fourth Thursday Of November?
Thanksgiving actually had a bit of a rough start. It was loosely celebrated in some areas of the early U.S. country, but it wasn’t quite yet established as a national observation. However, as mentioned above, Abraham Lincoln made the celebration official. In the year 1863, President Abraham Lincoln officially established November 26 as a national day of asking God to bless the families who lost loved ones in the Civil War while also giving thanks for the Union Army victory in the Gettysburg battle. Every year after, Lincoln proclaimed a national day of giving thanks would be honored on the last Thursday of November.
However, in 1939, the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the “thanks-giving” celebration to take place on the second-to-last Thursday of November in order to allow more shopping time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The decision was more of an economic move than anything.
Due to some negative feedback and regret (Roosevelt actually admitted that the switch was a mistake), President Roosevelt actually changed the time to celebrate Thanksgiving yet again. At the end of 1941, the president made the final and permanent change, signing a bill that marks Thanksgiving as occurring on the fourth Thursday of November, regardless of whether it is the last Thursday in November.
And that, friends, is why we celebrate Thanksgiving every fourth Thursday of November. No matter what your plans for the holiday are, at least now you know when we celebrate Thanksgiving, and why it never falls on the same date.