Days of Thanksgiving


“This is the day the Lord has made, be glad, give thanks, rejoice.”

— An old, loved hymn — 

THANKSGIVING HOLDS a special place in the heart of Americans. Many Americans would say it is their favorite holiday. It’s a day set aside purely for giving thanks. Gratitude is a powerful thing. It has saved people and nations. This special issue of InterestEng. takes you around the world to learn about days of gratitude in many different countries. They are called celebrations. But by the time you finish reading the stories, maybe you will have the same feeling we did: any celebration, anywhere, is really a day of gratitude. Gratitude for life.  

    To begin the journey, we have a special story from our Russian friend, Nikolai, remembering his first Thanksgiving in America. His story was translated for you into English by Andrei. Andrei is just 14 years old and has been studying English 9 years. Andrei is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian.

     Google knows everything. For example, about holidays. But this is merely information like a page from an encyclopedia. A real holiday must be felt. And that happens quite rarely. That is, it rarely happens that a holiday lives both inside you and is everywhere around you—to the very horizon. This miracle happens in America in the hearts of 300 million Americans and is called Thanksgiving Day. Even disorganized college students understand the value of this day. Like a bird in spring who flies thousands of miles to return home, so too they return home, as respectfully as America’s Founding Fathers, to sit at the family table with their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and best friends. And this holiday even I “came home to” once. 

     Thanksgiving is one of America’s greatest achievements. When this holiday was first celebrated in 1621, one people—the first settlers—sat down with another people—the first native Americans. Such was the birth of America. When finally the new nation was born, it had its own flag, its own hymn, and Thanksgiving.

     Thanksgiving Day is unique from all other holidays. In order to truly feel this remarkable holiday, you must be included at the table of a simple American family as I once was.  

                                          — Nikolai 


*Thanksgiving in America is the 4th Thursday in November. A day of Thanksgiving is also celebrated in Canada, Liberia, Puerto Rico and Norfolk Island during the autumn.

 ©preInterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us: