Thanksgiving Day, is a public holiday(harvest festival) celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.
what is the history of Thanksgiving day ?
Traced back to 1620, it all startedwith the Pilgrims . Mayflower Ship, carrying 102 passengers was used by the Pilgrims ( the religious refugees from England) in search of a new home. Where they could practice their faith freely and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World.
While the journey lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod. Although, Far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. The anchoring of the Mayflower at Cape Cod, occurred on November 21, 1620. (by our modern Gregorian calendar–it was November 11 to the Pilgrims who used the Julian calendar).
The year’s harvests failed and in the brutal winter of 1620, half of the pilgrims had starved to death as a result of that. The colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England. Hence the Members of the local Wampanoag Indian tribe taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn, beans and squash ; catch fish, and collect seafood.
In 1621, at the Plymouth Plantation,the Pilgrims ( the religious refugees from England) invited the local Native Americans and Wampanoag Indians. After a successful growing season they held a harvest feast which is acknowledged today as ” first Thanksgiving day celebrations in the colonies ”. The festival therefore lasted for three days and was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit.
why turkey on Thanksgiving Day?
Towards the preparation, Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission/ turkey hurting for the event. While the Wampanoag guests arrived with five deers. The first theory why turkey is used for the celebration. The Second theory says it was inspired by Queen Elizabeth. Because she was eating dinner when she heard that Spanish ships had sunk on their way to attack England. The third theory says wild turkeys are North America native meal, reason why it is natural choice of settlers.
Thanksgiving has therefore been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, after a proclamation by George Washington. But in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
AMAZING Thanksgiving 2016 ,next will be held on Thursday, Nov 23,2017