The History of Thanksgiving

Oct 31, 2022

One of the biggest holidays in the United States since Independence Day, July 4, is Thanksgiving, which is celebrated every 4th Thursday in November. Although you might think that you know everything about Thanksgiving, here is some interesting information about the origin of the holiday. 
Be Thankful Image

Be Thankful Image

Thanksgiving traditions around the world

In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. But did you know that seven other countries also celebrate official Thanksgiving? Among them are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Liberia and Switzerland.

The history of Thanksgiving in America

According to most historians, pilgrims have never observed an annual Thanksgiving in the fall. In 1621, they celebrated a holiday near Plymouth, Massachusetts, after their first harvest. But the very first Thanksgiving celebration had so positive effect on people that they have been carrying the traditions to the next generations. 

There is another side to his holiday as well. Oddly, most obediently, religious worshipers observed Thanksgiving with prayer and fasting without celebrating. And yet, although this harvest holiday has never been called Thanksgiving by pilgrims since 1621, it has become a model for traditional Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States. The first stories of this holiday, by Edward Winslow and William Bradford, can be found in the Pilgrim Hall Museum.

But why is Thanksgiving celebrated?

It is believed that the idea came from the pilgrims - one of the first settlers in the New World, who decided to express their gratitude to God for the bountiful harvest by sharing a festive meal with the indigenous people of the United States - the Indians. During these years, the first settlers could only guess what would be the amount of sown produce on land they did not know. According to legend, the pilgrims managed with the help of the Indians, who showed them how to cultivate American land.

In 1621 was the first celebration of Thanksgiving, but it became a national holiday for the United States in 1863 by decree of Abraham Lincoln. The great credit for the recognition of the holiday as national belongs to the editor Sarah Joseph Hale, who for years has sent letters to the changing presidents of the United States. Although the holiday has a religious character, over time it becomes more of a secular event.

Today, a stuffed turkey and pumpkin pie are a must on the American Thanksgiving table, but in the early years of the holiday, the pie was quite modest, and the turkey was replaced by a goose, a duck and even a carrier pigeon. Not only that, but people also put Thanksgiving flowers on their table in order to create a festive atmosphere in their homes. 

The turkey is the traditional main dish for the festive table, but it is also interesting that no one knows why this bird is associated with tradition. Although they cannot find a logical explanation for this issue, Americans regularly eat turkey for the holiday - except for one, which is symbolically pardoned by the American president.

Author: Pauline Reading
Pauline Reading
Bachelor Degree in Science
Flower Lover 
Proud mom of twins 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦
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