- (Photo: Pilgrim Hall Museum)
Sometimes it can appear that where there is a calendar day, there is a holiday of some kind. Observances can range from the solemn Memorial Day to the not-so-solemn Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Not all holidays are equal, with a small number being nationally, religiously, or ethnically significant; some involve the government closing down for the day while others do not.
Through it all, Thanksgiving has held its own as a much beloved American holiday. Taking place on the last Thursday in November, for many, Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday.
One blogger for a foodie website spoke of how endearing the "inherent simplicity" of the annual observance is.
"No one's expecting shiny wrapped presents. Nobody's likely to blow a finger off with a firecracker or step on a well-hidden hard boiled egg. No one's expected to put on a silly costume or sing Monster Mash," wrote an author from foodreference.com.
"You gather together family and/or friends to share a meal and to consider all that we have to be thankful for in our lives. That's pretty much it."
Diane Olson of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation spoke of Thanksgiving being her favorite holiday because it is a time for many things, least of all a break from work.
"It is a time for reflection, family gatherings, trying new recipes, overeating and being thankful that America's farmers work 24/7 year in and year out to provide food for our tables," wrote Olson.
"Many people enjoy a day, maybe two, away from work allowing a more relaxed schedule of rest, visiting, viewing television sports and parades, sleeping and eating. And eat we do!"
Of those many holiday parades, many flock to New York City or watch from the comfort of the living room the Macy's Day Parade. Begun in 1924, the Parade is known for its diverse array of floats, giant balloons, entertainment, and ties to the sights and décor of the Christmas season.
Deanna J. Williams, who works in public relations at Macy's, told The Christian Post why she believes that Thanksgiving has such a strong appeal.
"I think the reason why it appeals to many Americans is because everyone can participate in the celebration of being thankful, regardless of religious, societal, political or cultural beliefs," said Williams.
"The holiday may be the only time out of the year when people break from their hectic day-to-day and gather together to fellowship and commune with one another."
According to a Harris Poll conducted with 2,400 American adults, Thanksgiving was placed second behind Christmas as "America's Favorite Holiday."