On this page you will find 250 free Thanksgiving pictures to use to celebrate the holiday and to send to friends and family. These images are for personal use*: in the classroom, to make crafts and holiday greeting cards, or to send in an email with your holiday wishes.
In 2016, American Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 24; the Canadian holiday is celebrated on Monday, October 10.
The Thanksgiving pictures on this page are organized into twelve groups. You can quickly find the pictures you want from this Table of Contents, or just scroll down to see everything in this collection.
TABLE OF CONTENTS – Jump to Section
These Thanksgiving images represent the holiday celebration in family homes across America. The festive holiday meal is a family tradition, and the centerpiece is a plump, roasted turkey presented on a fine platter.
These images include the traditional menu favorites such as colorful autumn harvest vegetables, fruit, and pumpkin pie. With autumn's chill in the air, the images also represent the warmth of hearth and home.
At the heart of the images is the family gathering and a time of giving thanks with prayer.
Traditional Thanksgiving pictures often feature cornucopias filled with the fall harvest bounty. The cornucopia, also called a horn of plenty, is an ancient symbol of prosperity. Overflowing with fruit, vegetables, Indian corn, gourds, flowers, nuts and berries, it represents abundance.
Americans use this image in Thanksgiving pictures to represent the overflowing blessings to be grateful for during the harvest season.
Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey Pictures
One common theme for Thanksgiving images is the roasted turkey served on a platter. Eating turkey for the holiday meal is a tradition carried over from the very first Thanksgiving meal, when the Pilgrims and Indians shot wild turkeys for the banquet.
Because it takes many hours to roast a turkey, it is presented with the hostess's pride of accomplishment.
At the holiday dinner table, the turkey is the main attraction.
Thanksgiving Pictures of Pumpkin Pies
The dessert menu for the traditional holiday feast includes pumpkin pie. Pumpkins are harvested in the fall and these large colorful vegetables provide cooks with ample ingredients for many family recipes. But the pumpkin pie is the all-time favorite and this is why it is featured in so many Thanksgiving pictures and images.
Pumpkins were served at the first Thanksgiving meal, but the Pilgrims didn't have wheat flour or sugar so there were no pies. Instead, they made pumpkin puddings sweetened with molasses and honey.
"Happy Thanksgiving" Pictures
These vintage and modern Thanksgiving pictures are filled with good wishes for happiness and blessings.
These are perfect for sending in an email to friends and family. Just right-click to copy and paste into your holiday greeting.
The first American Thanksgiving was held on December 4, 1619, in Berkeley Hundred (Berkeley Plantation), Virginia. Thirty-eight English pilgrims arrived in America after a ten-week voyage under the leadership of Captain John Woodleaf.
The little English colony proclaimed in its charter that the day of the arrival on American soil would be remembered and celebrated every year as "a day of thanksgiving to God." The charter declared:
"We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."
In the first Thanksgiving picture below, Captain John Woodleaf is conducting the prayers at the first Thanksgiving service. This very first Thanksgiving was not a festive meal; that came later with the arrival of another passenger ship of American settlers.
The traditional American Thanksgiving holiday feast is traced to the arrival of the Mayflower ship, which docked off Provincetown, Massachusetts, on November 11, 1620. The 102 English settlers aboard chose explorers to go ashore and locate a settlement site.
The Mayflower sailed southward and landed at a harbor about 40 miles south of present day Boston. It was here that the passengers and crew lived on board the Mayflfower during the winter of 1620. In the spring of 1621, the pilgrims established their permanent settlement and named it Plimoth. Plimoth became the Plimoth Plantation and is today known as Plymouth.
The Plimoth Colony reaped a bountiful harvest during the first year of planting in 1621, and held a feast to give thanks to God. The three-day event was attended by members of the neighboring Wampanoag Indian tribe, who had provided substantial assistance to the pilgrims.
At the Plimoth Colony's first Thanksgiving, the custom was established to thank others for their assistance, in addition to thanking God Almighty.
Wild turkey and venison are mentioned as part of this first Thanksgiving Day menu. There was no wheat in the new land, so pies were not made; but there were ample pumpkins and fruits for sweet puddings. Corn, cultivated for generations by the local inhabitants, was an ingredient of many dishes. Perhaps cornbread stuffing, found in so many Thanksgiving images, originated from this first Thanksgiving feast.
The pilgrims learned how to plant corn from the Native Americans, and corn became a major source of their sustenance. Sweet corn and Indian corn are common images in Thanksgiving pictures.
Samoset, one of the chiefs of the Wampanoag Indian Tribe, made contact with the Plimoth pilgrims in the spring of 1621. He arrived alone at the settlement and was stark naked except for a leather belt around his waist which held his bow and arrows.
To the surprise of the settlers, he spoke the English language. Samoset was instrumental in helping the pilgrims adapt to their new country.
In 1863 during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day for:
"Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."
It has been celebrated in America as a national holiday ever since. It is one of the most beloved holidays.
Because roasted turkey is the centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal, turkeys are often portrayed in Thanksgiving images.
The favorite picture is of a large male turkey with feathers displayed in a picturesque courting posture.
The gobbler raises his tail feathers high and lifts the back feathers behind his head. He prominently displays a feathered beard protruding from his chest.
These turkey pictures feature the birds in all their grandeur. Find your favorite picture of a turkey here.
Funny Thanksgiving Pictures
Funny Thanksgiving pictures usually have something to do with turkeys. After all, the holiday is called "Turkey Day."
Turkeys are well known for their lack of intelligence and are often the butt of jokes. As beautiful as the birds are, to call someone a turkey is not a compliment!
With all of the preparations necessary for Thanksgiving Day, funny pictures provide a little comic relief from the work.
Many of the funny Thanksgiving pictures show a turkey dodging his fate. In keeping with this humorous thought, U.S. presidents have actually created a ceremony whereby they grant a pardon to a turkey every year.
That ceremony provides a great photo opp for funny Thanksgiving pictures.
Since the first formal Thanksgiving service in the New World in 1619, prayer has been part of this American holiday.
Thanksgiving prayers and blessings provide food for thought to accompany the traditional meal.
As much as America would like to separate church from state, prayer is a continual part of this holiday which began as a holy day of giving thanks to God.
Find a Thanksgiving prayer to use in the collection below.
American country singer and icon, Johnny Cash (1932-2003), created memorable Thanksgiving prayers in poetry and song.
Two all-time favorites are captured in the videos below. Transcripts are presented underneath each video.
At the heart of these prayers is a Thanksgiving image of gratitude for the simple things in life and for the people we love.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
"Thanksgiving is a day that we are reminded to be thankful for the things that we've got. Though it may seem like little, sometimes, we've always got something to be thankful for. I'd like to tell you the story about a man who I think has a lot to be thankful for."
On Thanksgiving, I Thank You
Lyrics by Johnny Cash
On Thanksgiving Day a family sat down to have their meal.
There was very little on the table, a few things from the field.
No turkey or fancy dressing – some bread and a little beans –
For the crops had been a failure and the times were pretty lean.
The father bowed his head; it was their habit to say grace.
And a calmness came over his lined and wrinkled face.
Dear Lord, he said, we thank You, for the sun was warm today
And we thank you for the singing of the birds and the laughing of the children as they played.
And thank You for that neighbor of mine that fixed my plow.
Thank you for that old plow horse. (We sure could use a cow.)
Thank you for the muscle; I can stand the ache.
Just let me have Your blessing on all I undertake.
And I thank You for this country, too, O' we've troubles now and pain,
But with Your help Lord, we'll get back to where the road is smooth again.
Thanks for all the love we've got and the strength to work my land.
For there's nothing Lord that I can't do if You lend a helping hand.
Thank You for my good wife, Lord, the children that I've got.
And they love me for the things that I am, and they forget the things I'm not.
And if somebody's down and out, Lord, and they're praying You with heed,
Just send them over to see me, Lord, I got more than I need.
Today I worked so hard my feet was aching;
I never stopped griping about the little bit of money I was making.
On my way home I passed a man and he was smiling,
And he was crippled. Lord, forgive me when I whine.
The world is mine and I'm doing fine.
I just want to say I thank You for the food I eat,
And I thank You, Lord, for the place I sleep,
And I thank You for my coat that keeps me warm.
Yes, and my feet that take me where I want to go
And my eyes that see the sunset's glow
And my ears that hear what they would know.
I thank you Lord the world is mine and I'm doing fine.
Yes the world is mine and I'm doing fine.
But some folks never seem to get happy.
Is it just because that they're so busy getting mad?
Never taking time to be thankful or lend a helping hand to a fellow man
Although his heart is filled with hate and his mind is planted on the second's sound.
I just want to say I thank You for the food I eat
And I thank You for the place I sleep
And I thank You, Lord, for the coat that keeps me warm.
Yes, and my feet that take me where I want to go,
And my eyes that see Your sunset's glow,
And my ears that hear what they would know.
I thank You, Lord, the world is mine and I'm doing fine.
Just want to tell You that the world is mine, Lord,
And I thank You now and I'm doing fine.
Thanksgiving Clip Art
Thanksgiving clip art is perfect for school and club projects during the season. Clip art is also ideal for making craft items for the holiday. Just print them on your home or office computer using transfer paper and iron the designs onto place mats, table clothes, t-shirts, etc.
You can also print them to use on your personal Happy Thanksgiving greeting cards or for place cards at your Thanksgiving dinner table.
This Thanksgiving clip art collection is divided into five sections. Click on the links below to find the category you want, or just scroll down to see them all.
CLIP ART TABLE OF CONTENTS – Jump to Section
Thanksgiving Coloring Pages follow this clip art section.
Thanksgiving Clip Art
The free Thanksgiving clip art below includes general and traditional images used for the holiday.
"Happy Thanksgiving" Clip Art
The "Happy Thanksgiving" clip art below can be added to holiday greeting emails, or printed on greeting cards. You can also print out an image to hang on the front door to greet your guests.
Roasted Thanksgiving Turkeys
This clip art grouping has images of roasted turkey dinners on traditional serving platters with all the trimmings and garnishes.
Turkey Pictures Clip Art
Traditional pictures of the turkey gobbler as well as some colorful graphic-artist interpretations.