Stories from our international boarding schools
Menu

This is what it’s like to celebrate Thanksgiving in the US

What is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a day for people to acknowledge everything they are thankful for in their lives. The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November, Thanksgiving has been considered as a public holiday in the US since 1863. This is the day that ignites the festive spirit and kick-starts the holiday season.

Celebrating this holiday looks different for everybody, but there are a number of traditions you can enjoy whether you’re on campus at EF Academy or not.

Popular Thanksgiving traditions in the US

1. Get together

Get together with friends and family for a meal which has traditionally included a roast turkey, stuffing and a pumpkin pie.

2. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade live on TV where you’ll see gigantic helium balloons (including a Dragon Ball Z figure which was added this year), floats, performances from Broadway musicals and marching bands parade through the streets of New York City.

3. Volunteer

Volunteer at a homeless shelter and make the most of Thanksgiving by giving back to the community

4. Shop for deals

Take advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals online or in-store and fill your closets for the holiday season.

5. Relax on the couch

Hit the couch, pop open a soda and watch an American football game, which is an essential part of the Thanksgiving tradition.

What is it like celebrating Thanksgiving at EF Academy New York?

1. Traditional Thanksgiving dinner

Get a taste of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in the cafeteria on Thursday. Every year, the cafeteria serves a traditional Thanksgiving meal for students and staff.

2. Cookies and cocoa

Feeling festive? Decorate and eat some cookies in the lobby with your friends and teachers while making some hot cocoa.

3. Saturday night movie and bonfire

Enjoy the movie night and bonfire on the chilly Saturday evening after Thanksgiving. You’ll get to toast s’mores with your friends and enjoy autumn’s crisp air.

4. Sing karaoke

Sing like crazy for the karaoke contest in the theatre. It’s a great way to test your singing skills and find out which one of your friends have what it takes to wiiiin!

5. Sunday volleyball

Participate in the volleyball tournament in our gym with your friends on Sunday.

6. Deck the halls

And finally, you’ll have the opportunity to ‘deck the halls’. Take the evening off to try to win your hall’s decorating contest. You’ll have a great time with your hall mates and residential directors!


With all this excitement and activity going on, don’t forget to tell your loved ones how grateful you are for having them in your life. EF Academy wishes you a happy Thanksgiving and hopes you enter the holiday season with grace and a cheerful spirit!

Share this article

Latest articles from New York