The Origin, Traditionand Significance of Thanksgiving

Posted by HelenaBlavatsky on

    In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the native Americans of Wampanoag jointly hosted an autumn harvest feast. Today, it is recognized as one of the earliest Thanksgiving celebrations in the colony. Over the next two centuries, various colonies and states have celebrated Thanksgiving. It was not until the Civil War in 1863 that President Lincoln announced that the National Thanksgiving Day would be held every November.

Plymouth Thanksgiving

   In September 1620, a small boat named "Mayflower" left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers. A group of religious separatists were looking for a new home where they could practice their faith freely. After 66 days of dangerous and uncomfortable sailing, they dropped anchor near Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination, the Hudson River. A month later, the "Mayflower" crossed Massachusetts Bay, where pilgrims began to establish a village in Plymouth.

    During the first brutal winter, most of the colonists stayed on the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy, and outbreaks of infectious diseases. Only half of the original passengers and crew of the Mayflower saw their first New England spring alive. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an amazing visit from an Native American who greeted them in English.

     A few days later, he returned with another Native American, Swanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe. He was kidnapped by a British captain and sold as a slave, then fled to London and once Back home during the expedition. Swanto taught those pilgrims weakened by malnutrition and disease how to grow corn, extract sap from maple trees, fish in the river, and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped settlers form an alliance with the local tribe Wampanoag, which will last for more than 50 years. Ironically, it is the only examples of European colonists and Native Americans living in harmony.

  In November 1621, after the pilgrims succeeded in harvesting corn for the first time, Governor William Bradford organized a celebration banquet and invited a group of Native American allies in the newborn colonies, including Wampa. Chief Noah Massa Soyt. People still remember the Americans’ "First Thanksgiving Day"-although the Puritans themselves may not have used the term at the time-this holiday lasted for three days. Although there is no exact record of the first Thanksgiving, many of the things we know about the first Thanksgiving come from the pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow, who wrote:

   "Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

     Historians believe that many dishes are probably made with traditional Native American condiments and cooking methods. Since the pilgrims did not have an oven and the sugar supply for the Mayflower had been reduced by the fall of 1621, there were no pies, cakes or other desserts for the meal, which have become hallmarks of contemporary celebrations

Thanksgiving Tradition

   In many American families, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost its original religious significance; instead, it now focuses on cooking and sharing a hearty dinner with family and friends. Turkey, a ubiquitous Thanksgiving staple food, has almost become synonymous with festivals. When the pilgrims held an inauguration feast in 1621, turkey may or may not be present.

    However, according to the National Turkey Federation, nearly 90% of Americans today eat this bird on Thanksgiving, whether it is grilled, grilled or fried. Other traditional foods include fillings, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common event on Thanksgiving, and the community often organizes food events and organizes free dinners for the less fortunate.

    Parades have also become an integral part of festivals in cities and towns across the United States. Since 1924, the New York Thanksgiving Day Parade organized by Macy's Department Store is the largest and most famous parade, 2.5 miles along the way, attracting about 2 million to 3 million viewers and attracting a large number of TV viewers. Its typical features are marching bands, performers, elaborate floats of various celebrities and giant balloons in the shape of cartoon characters.

    Since the middle of the 20th century and even earlier, the President of the United States will "pardon" one or two Thanksgiving turkeys every year, prevent these turkeys from being slaughtered, and send them to the farm for retirement. Some U.S. governors also hold an annual turkey pardon ceremony.

The Meaning of Thanksgiving

    In 1623, pilgrims held a second Thanksgiving celebration to commemorate the end of a long drought that threatened a year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for religious fasts. Annual or occasional fasting and Thanksgiving have also become common customs in other settlements in New England.

   During the American War of Independence, the Continental Congress stipulated that one or a few days of the year was Thanksgiving. In 1789, George Washington called on the American people to express gratitude for the successful conclusion of the American War of Independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated a day of appreciation during their presidency.

   In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt the annual Thanksgiving holiday; however, each state celebrates Thanksgiving on a different day, and the southern United States is still largely unfamiliar with this tradition.

   In 1827, the famous magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale and the authors of countless other works launched a campaign to designate Thanksgiving as a national holiday. In 36 years, she has published many editorials and sent dozens of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians, earning her the nickname "Mother of Thanksgiving"

   In 1863, at the height of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln finally obeyed her request and implored all Americans in a manifesto to "with his tender care, praise all widows, orphans, and widows in the sad civil war." Mourners or victims" and "heal the wounds of the country". He set Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday of November and celebrated on this day.


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