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Thanksgiving. The All-American Holiday

Novembre 2005
I Pilgrim Fathers sbarcarono sulla costa del Massachusetts a bordo del mitico Mayflower nel 1620. Metà di loro morì quel primo inverno. Ma gli indiani insegnarono ai superstiti come coltivare il granturco e come catturare dei polli selvatici mai visti: i tacchini. Fu così che i pellegrini organizzarono una festa di ringraziamento: era nato Thanksgiving.

di John Rigg

File audio:

Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

Thanksgiving is a four-day holiday for most US citizens. It starts on the fourth Thursday of November and continues through Black Friday to the weekend. It’s an occasion for families to get together for a few days.
The date for Thanksgiving was set by the country’s first president, George Washington, at his inauguration in 1789. The US Congress wanted to unite their new nation in a day of celebration and prayer.

the ideal meal

We asked Jane Held, who comes from from Wisconsin, how Americans pass Thanksgiving Day. She said: “People eat, they eat a lot. Then the men sit in front of the television watching football, you know, and we girls stay out in the kitchen and talk.”
A typical Thanksgiving dinner? Roast turkey with cranberry sauce and vegetables, with pumpkin pie as a dessert. People in Florida prefer deep fried turkey, a way of cooking that involves a lot of very hot oil! Then there is the turkey stuffing, that’s basically bread with either sausage meat, apple, chestnuts or even oysters and a lot of spices.

black friday

If you are in New York on November 24th, then you can celebrate Thanksgiving by joining a parade like Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Macy’s, a large Manhattan department store, organises the parade with actors, bands and enormous balloons.
On Black Friday everyone goes shopping. It’s the second biggest shopping day in the year (December 23rd is number one). Why black? Because shop owners make big profits and finally pay off their debts, so they are “in the black.”


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Glossary

inauguration - giorno dell’insediamento.

roast turkey with cranberry sauce - tacchino arrosto con salsa di mirtilli.

pumpkin pie - torta di zucca.

stuffing - ripieno.

chestnuts - castagne.

oysters - ostriche.

pay off their debts - saldano i debiti.