1. History of Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day holds a great significance in the US and this day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, annually. This day is all about three Fs, that is, football, family, and feast. But, how did it all start and why the people of the America give it so much importance? Well, it has a history behind it, a story that almost all the people know, but vaguely. Here is the entire story of Thanksgiving Day’s History.
1621 was the first year when Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by the European pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians to thank god for an extraordinary harvest the preceding year. It all started with the European pilgrims plan to leave their land and search for another one where they were allowed to practice their religion freely and where they had a lot of churches of their own. They sailed on the ship day in and day out, even the storms were incapable of stopping them. Finally, after spending several months in the sea they found their paradise in the form of Plymouth.
Right after their arrival winters began and the Pilgrims were left stranded without any source of food, due to heavy snowfall and gust of cold winds they were unable to hunt or gather other sources of food from nearby areas. Nevertheless, they somehow survived the cold winter of Plymouth and summers came. With the advent of the summer season, the pilgrims decided to prepare themselves for next fall season and decided to cultivate vegetables and other cereals but the same could not be done due to lack of seeds. In the meantime, they came across a Native American named Squanto who assisted them with the procurement of seed and the native farming of that area. The pilgrims along with the Native Americans successfully harvested the crops which seemed enough for the summer and the next fall season. Keeping in mind the bounty cultivated they decided to throw a three-day long feast to thank the Almighty for their good fortune.
1.1. Thanksgiving Day – Origin of Thanksgiving Day?
In 1621, when the harvesting procedure was completed and the European pilgrims were ready for the next season as well. They decided to thank god by celebrating for three days. 53 of the European pilgrims and 90 of the Wampanoag Indians came together to celebrate the day. They talked, laughed, prayed and had a feast. This is called the first Thanksgiving Day and the origin of the same.
1.2. Thanksgiving Day -When Did It Become a National Holiday?
Thanksgiving Day was not a national holiday from the beginning. In fact, it became one after quite some time when the then President of America, Abraham Lincoln took a call on it. So, in the year 1863, Abraham Lincoln decided to declared it a public holiday. During the American Civil War, President Abraham said that we need to take a day off to thank and praise our father and the day was supposed to be the fourth Thursday of November. And, this is how it became a national holiday.
1.3. Thanksgiving Day – Thanksgiving Day Controversies
This day is surrounded with a lot of controversies, but there is only one that has been a long running one. While Americans believe that it’s their day to thank the father of all, the Canadians say that they were the first ones to celebrate the day. In fact, the Canadian legend goes like this, in 1578, England’s explorer named Frobisher moved to a new land where he and his troop celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day and that is why Thanksgiving Day is of great significance for the Canadians as well.
1.4. Thanksgiving Day – Traditions of Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day is celebrated differently around the world, but still, there are some traditions that are common for all. Here they are.
– Travel. Traveling is a tradition where families who stay away from their relatives, travel to meet them so that they can spend the day together.
– Feast. This is probably the most important tradition of Thanksgiving Day. The menu for this day includes Turkey with gravy or even the stuffed ones, mashed potatoes, corn bread, cranberry sauce etc.
– Playing Football. Yes! Playing football with your family is also a tradition. Families come together to play football and then enjoy the feast with each other.
The traditions are very simple yet have a lot of significance.