Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States that occurs on the fourth Thursday of November.  Schools, government workplaces, as well as many other places of business are closed for Thanksgiving Day and the day after (which is Black Friday!) to observe this holiday.

At IEI, the conversation classes  plan and participate in activities and games with their classmates, and the faculty and staff cook and prepare traditional Thanksgiving foods for the students.

Here is a link to IEI’s 2013 Thanksgiving Event from our Facebook album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151735415075887.1073741856.21077380886&type=1&l=43c34af9f6

Some examples of traditional Thanksgiving include: turkey (with stuffing either inside the turkey or as a side), mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, corn bread, cranberry sauce, and of course, pumpkin pie!

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Some recipes for traditional Thanksgiving foods can be found at:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-sides/50-classic-thanksgiving-side-dish-recipes.html

The short, simple history of how Thanksgiving came to be a holiday is that the Wampanoag Native Americans in the Northeastern part of North America held ceremonies to give thanks for successful harvests, for the hope of good harvest for the next growing season in the spring, and other good fortunes. When the Pilgrims and Puritans arrived in America, they brought with them their customs of celebrating Thanksgiving, which was a solemn religious observance combining prayer and feasting.

So today’s Thanksgiving is a blend of these two traditions, along with modern day Thanksgiving activities, such as watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, watching football and feasting with family.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at IEI! Enjoy your break!

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Read more or and watch videos about the history of Thanksgiving here:

http://www.plimoth.org/learn/MRL/read/thanksgiving-history

http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving

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