Festivals celebrating harvest may be found all throughout the world, and many of them date back hundreds of years. Regarding the United States of Americans , however, the Thanksgiving holiday occupies a special and deeply ingrained position in the consciousness of the nation. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Eid are all religious holidays, but for many families, this holiday is even more significant than those holidays.
According to a proclamation made by Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America in 1863, the Thanksgiving holiday was initially observed on the last Thursday of November.
A joint resolution of Congress was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, shifting the national holiday to the fourth Thursday of the month. Thanksgiving fell on November 23, 2023.
The origins of the practice can be traced to the English settlers who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620 and were known as the Pilgrims or Pilgrim Fathers.
After leaving the Church of England in Britain, where they had faced persecution for their theological views, the Puritan separatists had previously lived in exile in the Netherlands. The Pilgrims followed a strict Bible-based brand of Christianity and disapproved of bishops, believing them to be creations of Satan.
The Pilgrim Fathers’ wives and kids
There were women and children among the 102 people that embarked on a ship known as the Mayflower on September 16, 1620. Although they are commonly referred to as the Pilgrim Fathers, children and women were also present on board. The majority of them were probably not really interested in their religion but rather were explorers looking for a new life.
It was near what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts, that the Mayflower, a three-masted ship of thirty meters (98 feet) in length, made its landing.
It was not long before the Pilgrims went to the opposite side of the harbor, where they established Plymouth Colony in December of 1620. This was due to the fact that they did not have sufficient supplies and the sandy soil was not suitable for producing crops. Due to the late arrival of the settlers as the season progressed, they were unable to sow any crops. During that first winter, they were only able to live with the assistance of the indigenous inhabitants of the Wampanoag tribe. These individuals not only gave them with food but also instructed them on how to cultivate in the area.
Indigenous remembrance day
The Wampanoag people and the settlers held a feast known as Thanksgiving over the course of three days in the fall of 1621. Turkey, corn, and sweet potatoes, all of which are foods native to the New World, were all on the table, a custom that has been carried on till the present day.
During that time period, the Wampanoag tribe and the settlers were able to coexist peacefully, which was an exceptional circumstance. Violence became an increasingly prevalent aspect of the relationship beginning in the 1630s and continuing beyond.
Because of this, Thanksgiving is a day that many Native Americans celebrate to remember the genocide that was committed by European invaders, as well as the loss of their land and their ancestors via this event.
On the other hand, the Pilgrim Fathers were not the first Europeans to settle in North America; in fact, celebrations of the harvest were already taking place before to their arrival. Despite this, the first Thanksgiving feast in the United States was held in 1621 and was celebrated by the Wampanoag tribe and the Pilgrims. This feast is considered to be the origin of Thanksgiving in the United States.
In addition, over the course of time, it has become increasingly commercialized, much like many other traditional holidays. The Friday following Thanksgiving is commonly referred to as “Black Friday,” and it is the day that retailers begin offering promotional discounts in preparation for the Christmas shopping season. Furthermore, in contrast to the custom of eating turkey on Thanksgiving, this tradition has already spread all over the world.