czwartek, 25 listopada 2010

Thanksgiving Day - Święto Dziękczynienia

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. It has a special significance for American people. Its origin goes back to the first half of the 17th century. In December 1620, a ship named Mayflower brought over a hundred English men and women to the coast of North America. They were all members of a religious sect of Puritans. They had to leave England because they wanted to reform the Church of England and became very unpopular. In fact, most of them were persecuted.
When these first Pilgrims landed in America, they founded a colony called Plymouth. However, half of them did not survive the severe winter. The others did not die but only because the native Indians called Wampanoag agreed to help them and taught them how to plant corn. In October 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Pilgrims held a feast to celebrate the good harvest and to thank God for his blessings. The main dish was roast turkey. The Pilgrims called that day Thanksgiving Day. The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians also to the feast. The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.

Thanksgiving Day

President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789 and again in 1795. Abraham Lincoln issued a 'Thanksgiving Proclamation' on third October 1893 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving. Earlier, the presidents used to make an annual proclamation to specify the day when Thanksgiving was to be held. President Franklin D. Roosevelt restored the Thursday before last of November as Thanksgiving Day in 1939. He did so to make the Christmas shopping season longer and thus stimulate the state's economy. Congress passed an official proclamation in 1941 and declared that from then on Thanksgiving would be observed as a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
Nowadays Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day in a family circle. They gather together at the table and enjoy a traditional dinner of roast turkey. Young people who study or live far away usually come home for the Thanksgiving feast. Some Americans go to church on that day to thank God for his generosity. Thanksgiving Day is regarded as a special one for the needy, who receive gifts of food from charitable organizations and churches.

Happy Thanksgiving Day

significance - znaczenie
origin - korzenie, początki
brought over (od: bring over) - przywozić
Pilgrims - pielgrzymi
persecuted - prześladowani
to found a colony - założyć kolonię
the severe winter - sroga (ostra) zima
to plant corn - uprawiać kukurydzę
to hold a feast - urządzić ucztę
good harvest - dobre zbiory
blessing - błogosławieństwo
roast turkey - pieczony indyk
neighboring (pisownia AmE) - sąsiadujący
last - trwać
issue - wydać
proclamation - proklamacja, obwieszczenie
set aside - ustanowić
annual - coroczne/roczne
hold - odbywać się
restore - przywrócić
to pass (a law) - uchwalić (ustawę)
observe - obchodzić
legal holiday - oficjalne święto
generosity - hojność
the needy - potrzebujący
charitable organizations - organizacje charytatywne

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