It is interesting to look back at Thanksgiving history and understand the significance of this uniquely American tradition. Thanksgiving history can be traced back to 1621 when the colonists reaped a bountiful Fall harvest after a harsh winter.
The Pilgrims that had set sail for the New World faced many a trial and tribulation. With the help of the local Native Americans, they cultivated corn and native vegetables to keep them alive. A grand community feast was held to celebrate this, replete with corn, barley, pumpkins and peas, mashed potatoes and gravy, fowl, deer and wild turkey. The Thanksgiving feast is in commemoration of the thankful community feast partaken by the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
But a couple of years later, there was drought and the Pilgrims fasted and prayed for rain. As their prayers were answered, they continued to follow the tradition of thanksgiving. It was much later in 1789 that President George Washington declared Thanksgiving as a holiday for all colonies. After much lobbying and debate, it was decided that the fourth Thursday of November would be celebrated as Thanksgiving Day in the United States. A national holiday proved to be one of the effective tools in promoting national unity during the colonial times.
Today Thanksgiving Day is a day of family togetherness, where the traditional turkey and the rest of the meal are savored with near and dear ones. Thanksgiving Day, as the name suggests is a day of prayer to thank God for his bounties. It is also a day to thank those who care for us and enrich our lives with their love. Prayers and church services are held for people to contemplate on their blessings and thank the Lord for them.
Fruits, flowers and vegetables are used to decorate churches. Homes may have a traditional cornucopia, to symbolize the abundance of Thanksgiving. Even today, the turkey finds pride of place on the Thanksgiving dinner menu. You can find corn in some form of the other, be it as bread or side dish. Thanksgiving meal also includes breadcrumb stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. Traditionally pecan pie or pumpkin pie finds it way into the Thanksgiving menu.
In keeping with the thanksgiving spirit, our special articles on decorating your home with Thanksgiving crafts and planning the Thanksgiving meal are sure to find favor with you!