Harvest Festival Poem for Kids: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: Harvest Festival Poem for Kids

Thanksgiving is a holiday in the United States and Canada when people give thanks. In the United States, it is on the fourth Thursday of November. In Canada it is on the second Monday of October.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln said the last Thursday of November would be a national Day of Thanksgiving for the United States. American immigrants brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada, beginning on April 5, 1872. The United States Congress permanently made the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday in the year 1941. In 1957, Canada made the second Monday of each October a national holiday. Thanksgiving was first celebrated to give thanks for the harvest.

The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first feast in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days. Edward Winslow, who was there, said that 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims were there. More people in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving than Christmas and New Year. Americans eat 46 million turkeys or more each Thanksgiving.

The Autumn hills are golden at the top,
And rounded as a poet’s silver rhyme;
The mellow days are ruby ripe, that drop
One after one into the lap of time.

Dead leaves are reddening in the woodland copse,
And forest boughs a fading glory wear;
No breath of wind stirs in their hazy tops,
Silence and peace are brooding everywhere.

The long day of the year is almost done,
And nature in the sunset musing stands,
Gray-robed, and violet-hooded like a nun,
Looking abroad o’er yellow harvest lands:

O’er tents of orchard boughs, and purple vines
With scarlet flecked, flung like broad banners out
Along the field paths where slow-pacing lines
Of meek-eyed kine obey the herdboy’s shout;

Where the tired ploughman his dun oxen turns,
Unyoked, afield, mid dewy grass to stray,
While over all the village church spire burns –
A shaft of flame in the last beams of day.

Empty and folded are her busy hands;
Her corn and wine and oil are safely stored,
As in the twilight of the year she stands,
And with her gladness seems to thank the Lord.

Thus let us rest awhile from toil and care,
In the sweet sabbath of this autumn calm,
And lift our hearts to heaven in grateful prayer,
And sing with nature our thanksgiving psalm.

∼ Kate Seymour Maclean

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