In 1620， the settlers， or Pilgrims， they sailed to America on the May flower， seeking a place where they could have freedom of worship. After a tempestuous two-month voyage they landed at in icy November， what is now Plymouth， Massachusetts.
During their first winter， over half of the settlers died of starvation or epidemics. Those who survived began sowing in the first spring.
All summer long they waited for the harvests with great anxiety， knowing that their lives and the future existence of the colony depended on the coming harvest. Finally the fields produced a yield rich beyond expectations. And therefore it was decided that a day of thanksgiving to the Lord be fixed. Years later， President of the United States proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day every year. The celebration of Thanksgiving Day has been observed on that date until today.
The pattern of the Thanksgiving celebration has never changed through the years. The big family dinner is planned months ahead. On the dinner table， people will find apples， oranges， chestnuts， walnuts and grapes. There will be plum pudding， mince pie， other varieties of food and cranberry juice and squash. The best and most attractive among them are roast turkey and pumpkin pie. They have been the most traditional and favorite food on Thanksgiving Day throughout the years.
Everyone agrees the dinner must be built around roast turkey stuffed with a bread dressing to absorb the tasty juices as it roasts. But as cooking varies with families and with the regions where one lives， it is not easy to get a consensus on the precise kind of stuffing for the royal bird.
Thanksgiving today is， in every sense， a national annual holiday on which Americans of all faiths and backgrounds join in to express their thanks for the year' s bounty and reverently ask for continued blessings. 感恩节是美国国定假日中最地道、最美国式的节日，而且它和早期美国历史最为密切相关。