A Letter from America (Thanksgiving Day, other holidays)

The winter was cold, and about half of the pilgrims died. In the spring, with advice and help from the Indians the pilgrims planted com (known also as maize?) and other crops.

In October 1621, to celebrate the good harvest, the pilgrims held a feast which featured, among many other foods, wild turkey, which is native to North America. They called this their day of thanksgiving.

The story is told and retold every year to young children in schools. The holiday is called Thanksgiving Day, and is now observed on the fourth Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving Day is marked by families gathering together to enjoy a traditional dinner of roast turkey, and to speak to one another of the things for which they are thankful. Young people who are at college or live away from their families usually come home for this dinner. If the parents are elderly, their adult children or some other relatives will prepare the Thanksgiving feast.

Perhaps the most important day to a country is the holiday that commemorates a national event. For many nations the date is the country’s Independence Day.

For the Americans — it is the 4th of July, Inde­pendence Day. The holiday recalls the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July, 1776.


Vocabulary

maize — (бот.) маис, кукуруза

the good harvest — богатый урожай

to hold (held, held) a feast — устроить праздник (банкет)

a feast — пир; банкет; праздник

to feature — быть характерной чертой

turkey — индюк; индейка

elderly — пожилой

adult — взрослый

to commemorate — праздновать (годовщину)

Independence Day — День Независимости

to recall — вспоминать; напоминать

the signing of the Declaration of Independence — Подписание Декларации Независимости

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