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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Thanksgiving Meaning, History, Traditions And Origin


The deed of giving thanks, grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God is called Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Meaning

The real Thanksgiving meaning focuses upon a relationship. Thanksgiving is a relationship between God and man.
Thanksgiving Meaning

Thanksgiving History

In 1621, the Plymouth settler and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest dine that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than 2 centuries, thanksgiving days were celebrated by individual states and colonies. It wasn’t until 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln declared a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

Thanksgiving At Plymouth

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers a variety of religious dissidents seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a dangerous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the edge of Cape Cod, far north of their expected destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.
During the whole of that first hard winter, most of the settler remained on board the ship, where they suffered from scurvy, exposure and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and team lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received a surprising visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on a searching journey. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, exhausted by starvation and illness, extract sap from maple trees, how to cultivate corn, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers create an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would exist for more than 50 years and shockingly remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European settler and Native Americans.
Thanksgiving History
When first corn harvest proved successful in November 1621, Governor of that time William Bradford arranged a celebratory dine and invited a group of the learner colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now memorized as American’s “first Thanksgiving” although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time the festival continued for three days. There is not any kind of record of the historic feast’s accurate menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in the arrangement for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests reached bearing five deer. History students and professors have indicated that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking manners. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had decayed by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a symbol of modern celebrations.

Thanksgiving Becomes An Official Holiday

Pilgrims held their 2nd Thanksgiving ceremony in 1623 to mark the end of a long scarcity that had endangered the year’s harvest and caused Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an occasional or annual basis became a regular practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress nominated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving announcement by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to reveal their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful acceptance of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also nominated days of thanks during their presidencies.
New York, in 1817, became the first of many states to officially follow an annual Thanksgiving holiday. Each celebrated it on a different day, and the American South stayed largely unknown with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale started a campaign to authorize Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published many editorials and sent scores of letters to senators, governors, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heard her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in an announcement entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become orphans, widows, mourners or sufferers in the miserable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He decided Thanksgiving for the last Thursday in November, and after that, it was celebrated on that day until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to trigger retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known as Franksgiving, was met with strong opposition, and in 1941 the president unwillingly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving Traditions

In several American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its real religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a lavish meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving fundamental so pervasive it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural dines in 1621. At present, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird whether baked, roasted or deep-fried on Thanksgiving, according to the NTF (National Turkey Federation). Other traditional foods include mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving Traditions
Pageant have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Introduced by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day march is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million viewers along its 2.5-mile route and drawing a huge television audience. It basically looks marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.
In the middle of 20th century and perhaps even earlier, the president of the United States has “pardoned” one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement. A number of U.S. governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual.

Thanksgiving Controversies

For some scholars, the jury is still out on whether dine at Plymouth really constituted the first Thanksgiving in the United States. Actually, historians have noted other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America that predate the Pilgrims’ celebration. Later in 1565, the Spanish traveler Pedro MenĂ©ndez de AvilĂ© requested members of the local Timucua tribe to a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida, after holding a crowd to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival. On 4th December 1619, when 38 British settlers reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River, they read an announcement labeling the date as a day of thanksgiving to God.
Few Native Americans and others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and specifically to schoolchildren. According to them, the traditional narrative paints a cleverly sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of rivalry between Native Americans and European settlers that eventuated in the deaths of millions. Later in 1970, demonstrators have joined on the day nominated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which looks over Plymouth Rock, to celebrate a “National Day of Mourning.”

Thanksgiving Origins

The American conception of Thanksgiving started in the communities of New England, its background can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the dissidents who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who reached soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of dining and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.
Thanksgiving Origins
As a yearly celebration of the harvest and its reward, Thanksgiving categorizes in a group of festivals that spans cultures, millennia and continents. In ancient times, the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans dined and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a similarity to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Lastly, the professors of history have noted that Native Americans had a splendid tradition of celebrating the fall harvest with dining and enjoyment long before Europeans set foot on their shores.

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