Thanksgiving Where did it all begin? And Did they Eat Turkey?
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING?
It's called Thanksgiving, and we'll all be enjoying the holiday later this month. But when was the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims in the New World? That was in October of 1621 in Plymouth, and the feast lasted for three days with 53 Pilgrims, survivors of the Mayflower, and 90 Native American Wampanoag people.
SO DID THEY GO SHOPPING FOR THE THANKSGIVING DINNER?
Well, not exactly, but they did go out "fowling" for turkeys, geese and duck, and apparently were able to harvest enough to serve the company "almost a week." According to Britannica, The Pilgrims were joined by 90 Wampanoag who at first surprised the Pilgrims but then the two groups socialized without any problems.
THE WAMPANOAG BROUGHT BEER TO THE FIRST THANKSGIVING!!!
The indigenous peoples of the Wampanoag tribe didn't come empty handed to the first Thanksgiving-- they brought fowl, fish, eels, shellfish, vegetables, and believe it or not, beer! They ate outside, drank beer, fired guns, and ran races. Basically, it was a big party, even though the two groups struggled to speak broken English and the language of the Wampanoag.
THE FIRST THANKSGIVING: A DISORDERLY AFFAIR
Britannica calls the first Thanksgiving a "disorderly affair", but it started a tradition that continued in peace until King Philip’s War (1675-76), in which thousands of Native Americans and colonists were killed.
SO WHEN DID THANKSGIVING OFFICIALLY BECOME A HOLIDAY IN THE US?
The day didn't officially become a holiday until President Abraham Lincoln, on October 3, 1863, proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving which was to be recognized on each Thursday, November 26th.
TODAY THANKSGIVING IS AN AMERICAN TRADITION, EVEN THOUGH THE DATE CHANGES EVERY YEAR
Oddly enough, the date of Thanksgiving changes every year. This year the date is set for Thursday, November 23.
Today, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving in the same tradition: with a meal of turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. Many people travel during the holiday, thus making this one of the busiest times of year on Washington roads.
In modern times, many people hold a "Friendsgiving", creating a fun time which sometimes includes wearing festive outfits.
However you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, it's a special time for many families in the Yakima Valley, and knowing the history of Thanksgiving is an important piece of that tradition.
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Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang