Though the festival of Thanksgiving originated in US, it was celebrated in many other countries too in different forms. The Europeans celebrated it to express their gratitude for the good harvest and hard work, while Greeks did it by way of celebrating with feasts, music, and parades. Ancient Jews observed the harvest festival that used to last for 8 days, and even the ancient Chinese celebrated by way of sharing the moon cake on the famous Moon festival. However, it was only after the Europeans landed in America with their own traditions that the Thanksgiving that we know today began to take shape. Few centuries later, Thanksgiving Day turned into one of the most important days in America and other countries.
It was on 20th November, 1997 that the United Nations General Assembly, in their 50th plenary meeting declared the millennium year 2000 as the International Year of Thanksgiving. It was an effort to bridge the cultural gap between diverse communities: A day to celebrate and appreciate the cornerstone of all religions with gratitude and recognition of a higher authority that inspires and guides all the life. Historic in the sense that it was also the first time that a unanimous voting had been made in favor of any spiritual idea by the United Nations General Assembly, the decision served in promoting harmony, peace, and cultural relationships among different countries.
The responsibility to lead and organize various activities for the United Nations was handed over to the Centre of World Thanksgiving, located in Dallas, Texas. The activities that were undertaken by the organization included studying the harvest related festivals of various member countries of the United Nations, by diving deep down the history of those festivals'. To honor this declaration, United Nations also released a postage stamp in 2000, dedicated to the International Year of Thanksgiving. The stamp contains an image of the ceiling of the Chapel of Thanksgiving, located at the Centre of World Thanksgiving. This stamp represents "Spiral of Life".
Though originating in the US, the Thanksgiving Day has now crossed cultural boundaries; thanks to the decision made by UN to declare the year 2000 as the International Year of Thanksgiving.