I didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving so it doesn’t mean too much to me. However, I do enjoy Canadian Thanksgiving as it is in early October when all the vegetables grown over the summer are harvested for the winter so it seems right to be giving thanks for nature’s bounty. This year, I was invited to an American Thanksgiving dinner in Bologna by my friends Lorenza and Gianni who have many American friends. They hosted a Thanksgiving dinner last year and it was a great success so they decided to do it again. This time I was invited as well.
Bologna is a beautiful city with medieval towers in the historic centre, and buildings characterized by porticoes so one is protected from the weather. My friends live in an old palazzo so it’s like stepping back in time when you walk through the gate into the courtyard.
They got a huge turkey, 8 kilos and there were 18 of us in total. Everybody brought a dish or two so we had a lots of food and several desserts including the traditional pumpkin pie , pecan pie, as well as an apple and chocolate pie which was delicious, a combination I’ve never had before.
The next day, Friday, the streets were packed with shoppers. Black Friday has spread to Italy and even the high end shops were advertising sales. The streets were jammed with people rushing about.
Since Black Friday also only came to Canada a few years ago, I didn’t know how the term had come about so I looked it up. The American Thanksgiving holiday was originally on November 26th but in in 1941, Congress passed a law that made Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. In the 1950s, people began calling in sick the Friday after Thanksgiving to give themselves a 4-day weekend and many businesses started adding that day as another paid holiday. People began to use the day to get a start on their Christmas shopping. In the city of Philadelphia, the police used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the Army-Navy football game held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year. That’s what I came across when I Googled it anyway though there might be other explanations.
I’m glad to say that I didn’t do any shopping but went to visit other points of interest in Bologna. Thank you Lorenza and Gianni for my first celebration of American Thanksgiving and for all the other delicious meals.