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Thanksgiving Day Thanksgiving Day
by The Ovi Team
2017-11-23 11:08:39
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Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.

thanks01_400The date and location of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention. The traditional "first Thanksgiving" is the celebration that occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621. The Plymouth celebration occurred early in the history of what would become one of the original thirteen colonies that became the United States. The celebration became an important part of the American myth by the 1800s.

This Thanksgiving, modelled after celebrations that were commonplace in contemporary Europe, is generally regarded as America's first. Elementary school teacher Robyn Gioia has argued that the earliest attested "thanksgiving" celebration in what is now the United States was celebrated by the Spanish on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida. Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members and friends.

Thanksgiving is America's preeminent day. It is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in the month of November and its origin can be traced back to the 16th century when the first thanksgiving dinner is said to have taken place.

The legendary pilgrims crossed the Atlantic in the year 1620 in Mayflower-A 17th Century sailing vessel. About 102 people travelled for nearly two months with extreme difficulty. This was so because they were kept in the cargo space of the sailing vessel. No one was allowed to go on the deck due to terrible storms. The pilgrims comforted themselves by singing Psalms- a sacred song.

thanks02The pilgrims reached Plymouth Rock on December 11th 1620, after a sea journey of 66 days. Though the original destination was somewhere in the northern part of Virginia, they could not reach the place owing to winds blowing them off course. Nearly46 pilgrims died due to extreme cold in winter. However, in the spring of 1621, Squanto, a native Indian taught the pilgrims to survive by growing food.

In the summer of 1621, owing to severe drought, pilgrims called for a day of fasting and prayer to please God and ask for a bountiful harvest in the coming season. God answered their prayers and it rained at the end of the day. It saved the corn crops.

It is said that Pilgrims learnt to grow corn, beans and pumpkins from the Indians, which helped all of them survive. In the autumn of 1621, they held a grand celebration where 90 people were invited including Indians. The grand feast was organized to thank god for his favours. This communal dinner is popularly known as “The first thanksgiving feast”. There is however, no evidence to prove if the dinner actually took place.

While some historians believe pilgrims were quite religious so, their thanksgiving would've included a day of fasting and praying, others say that the Thanksgiving dinner did take place.

thanks03_400There is no evidence to prove if the customary turkey was a part of the initial feast. According to the first hand account written by the leader of the colony, the food included, ducks, geese, venison, fish, berries etc.

Pumpkin pie, a modern staple adorning every dinner table, is unlikely to have been a part of the first thanksgiving feast. Pilgrims however, did have boiled pumpkin. Diminishing supply of flour led to the absence of any kind of bread.

The feast continued for three days and was eaten outside due to lack of space. It was not repeated till 1623, which again witnessed a severe drought. Governor Bradford proclaimed another day of thanksgiving in the year 1676. October of 1777 witnessed a time when all the 13 colonies joined in a communal celebration. It also marked the victory over the British.

After a number of events and changes, President Lincoln proclaimed last Thursday in November of thanksgiving in the year 1863. This was due to the continuous efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor. She wrote a number of articles for the cause.


    
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Emanuel Paparella2009-11-26 17:13:49
Elyssa East in the opinion section fo the New York Times ends her piece titled "A Movable Feast" thus:

"In the nearly 400 years since the first Thanksgiving, the holiday has come to mirror our transformation into a nation of gross overconsumption, but the New England colonists never intended for Thanksgiving to be a day of gluttony. They dished up restraint along with gratitude as a shared main course. What mattered most was not the feast itself, but the gathering together in thanks and praise for life’s most humble gifts. Perhaps this holiday season we could benefit from restoring a proper Thanksgiving balance between forbearance and indulgence."

Food for thought! Here is the link of the whole piece:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/opinion/24east.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&emc=eta1&adxnnlx=1259247639-hTNUmaOgRyOIcTXUyixUKA





Jack2009-11-27 04:49:21

I was born on Thanksgiving & I am most thankful for the fact that the wrong turkey didn't get shot that day! : - )


Leah Sellers2013-11-29 21:27:39
Hope everyone at Ovi, and all of its Wrtiers and REaders had a wonderful day of ThaknsGiving (whether it is celebrated in your countries or not).
Being alive upon this beautiful blue-green gemstone of a Planet, and Being with those We Love is such a Blessings to be Thankful for.
Nice piece Ovi Team - Thanks for that as well.


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