If you’re a lover of holidays, you’ve probably been waiting for Thanksgiving all year long. While getting into the spirit of the holiday, you’re probably wondering: Why is Thanksgiving so late this year? Unlike before, Thanksgiving falls on the 28th of November this year. That’s barely a month to Christmas! But not to worry. Thanksgiving’s lateness has nothing to do with the world coming to an end or a shift in the solar system. As a matter of fact, it’s all because of a tiny switch made by President Roosevelt a long time ago.
Let’s take a walk down history’s long lane as you wait for your turkey to cook.
Why Thanksgiving is Late This Year
Like you already know, Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November. But this wasn’t always the case. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln who was the president at that time, declared that the last Thursday of November should be observed as Thanksgiving each year.
However, in 1939, President Roosevelt switched things up a little bit. He declared that Thanksgiving be shifted to the second-to-the-last Thursday of November. As you can imagine, not many people were pleased by this change. No one likes it when Thanksgiving is meddled with. But President Roosevelt had good intentions however. The reason behind this change was to ensure that there were more days for shopping before Christmas and subsequently, boost the economy. This change largely contributed to what we know as “Black Friday” today. You’re welcome!
In 1940 (the next year), Thanksgiving was still celebrated on the second-to-the-last Thursday of November which was on the 21st.
It’s safe to assume that a lot of people were still confused and disgruntled with this new development. So, to avoid further confusion, Roosevelt made a final change in 1941.
In 1941, President Roosevelt made a final change that has lasted till date. He signed a bill into law, stating that Thanksgiving will fall on the fourth Thursday of November. What does this mean? It simply means that whether the fourth Thursday is the last Thursday in the month or not, Thanksgiving will fall on that day. So even if a year has five Thursdays in November, everyone will be celebrating Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday.
This was a much welcomed development and everyone was quite excited to have Thanksgiving back to its previous arrangement.
Now, this year, the fourth Thursday falls on the 28th of November, which may seem a little later than usual. As a matter of fact, the last time Thanksgiving was this late was in 2013. Anyway, whether it’s late or not, the good news is that Thanksgiving is here and it’s here to stay! (only for a little while though).
So, get into the Holiday spirit and get ready to be thankful because that’s what’s Thanksgiving is all about. Call up your friends and loved ones and share this special holiday with them. Don’t forget to take your turkey out of the oven!