Thanksgiving is an annual holiday celebrated mainly in the United States, Canada, some Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It is also an official holiday for all workers in the US and Canada. The initial meaning is to celebrate the harvest and give thanks to God for a full and peaceful life. But the history of Thanksgiving beginning in 1621 is the subject of much debate. In this article, let’s explore the history of Thanksgiving in America.
What is The History Of Thanksgiving in America?
In America, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621 in the Colony of Plymouth, in present-day Massachusetts, after a good harvest. And this is said to be the official origin of Thanksgiving day because of its true meaning. So what exactly is the history of Thanksgiving in America? A fact that will probably surprise you.
The Origin of Thanksgiving Day
Around the 16th – 17th centuries, some Catholics and Puritans in England were forced to convert to his religion by the then emperor. These people did not accept and were imprisoned. After being detained for a while, they were released and questioned again, but they still refused to convert and were forced to leave England.
Then they moved to the Netherlands to live. After a while, they quickly realized that they could not assimilate into this country’s culture and were afraid that their descendants would lose their roots, so they continued to immigrate to the Americas on a ship called the Mayflower.
The people on this ship (about 102 people), later known as the Pilgrims, arrived at the Plymouth Colony in New England during the winter. They arrived too late to plant many crops, and without fresh food, half of the colony died from the disease.
The following spring, the Wampanoag Iroquois tribe taught them how to grow corn, new food for the colonists. They showed them other crops to grow on foreign lands and how to hunt and fish.
When the Pilgrims were able to fend for themselves, they held a party to thank God for allowing them to live to this day. They invited the local Iroquois chief and 90 members of his tribe and enjoyed a meal together. Since then, every year the descendants of the Pilgrims have always celebrated thanksgiving for the good things that have come to life.
The History Of Thanksgiving In America
For North Americans or Canadians, the first Thanksgiving took place in 1578, celebrated by Martin Frobisher and his expedition in Newfoundland to thank God for keeping them alive on their journey. long and stormy from England. However, some also think that Thanksgiving may have taken place earlier (circa 1541).
In America, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621 in the Colony of Plymouth, in present-day Massachusetts, after a good harvest. And this is said to be the official origin of Thanksgiving day because of its true meaning.
Meaning of Thanksgiving Day
Initially, Thanksgiving Day was celebrated with the meaning of thanking God for creating a source of life and giving people a peaceful and prosperous life, without wars and droughts. By the middle of the 19th century, the internal tension in the United States, which could cause civil war, was celebrated on Thanksgiving Day as a campaign to build solidarity.
Today, Thanksgiving is considered a day for family members to reunite and get closer together after nearly a year of hard work and study. Under the candlelight on the Thanksgiving table, the members often hold hands, close their eyes and silently thank God for the blessings and pray for a good and lucky future.
Here is the meaning and the history of Thanksgiving in America. However, there is still some controversy behind it.
Some scholars are still not sure if the feast at Plymouth is actually the first Thanksgiving in the US. Indeed, historians have recorded other thanksgiving ceremonies by European settlers in North America prior to the Pilgrim’s celebration.
For example, in 1565, to thank God that his crew had arrived safely, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé invited members of the local Timucua tribe to dinner in St.Augustine, Florida.
On December 4, 1619, when 38 Englishmen settled in a place known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of the James River in Virginia, they read a manifesto designating the day as “a day of thanksgiving to almighty God.”
Some Native Americans and others question the way the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to students. In their view, the traditional story paints a sunny portrait of the relationship between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags to mask the brutal history of conflict between the Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people.
Since 1970, on the designated Thanksgiving day atop Cole Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, protesters have gathered to celebrate “National Day of Mourning.” In other parts of the country, similar events are held.
Thanksgiving Becomes a National Holiday
The Pilgrims celebrated their second Thanksgiving in 1623 to mark the end of a protracted drought that threatened the year’s harvest and led to a religious fast.
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving each year. In 1789, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the United States national government; in it, he urged Americans to express gratitude for the happy ending to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the US Constitution. Accordingly, his successors John Adams and James Madison also designated thanksgiving during their presidency.
In 1817, New York became the first state in the United States to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday. However, each place celebrates it on a different date, and the American South remained largely alien to tradition.
In 1846, Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the famous Godey magazine, encouraged the celebration of the “Great American Festival”. She hoped it would be a unifying holiday that would help prevent a civil war. In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln suggested that all Americans spend the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving.
Well, It’s all about the history of Thanksgiving in America. Have you prepared anything for Thanksgiving this year? Thanksgiving gifts and family activities will make this holiday even more enjoyable. If you have any good ideas, share with us in the comments below!