The History of Thanksgiving

By : | | On : November 24, 2014 | Category : Uncategorized

Before turkey and pumpkin pies became a tradition to eat on Thanksgiving day, there was a little history behind it all. The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. The celebration began to commemorate the harvest that was reaped by the Plymouth County after a rigid winter. In that same year, Governor William Bradford proclaimed it as a day of thanksgiving. By the mid-1800s, many states started observing the Thanksgiving holiday. Instead of our one Thursday to celebrate this holiday, a written record of the famous meal reveals to us that the harvest celebration lasted 3 days. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Christmas is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, while Canada celebrates it on the second Monday of October.

It would probably surprise you to learn that the items we eat during Thanksgiving now is not what was eaten then. They didn’t eat turkey or mashed potatoes. Back then, they might have eaten wildfowl, duck, venison, corn, and porridge. The Wampanoag Indians gifted the pilgrims of five deer. The table would also include native fruits like grapes, melons, plums, cranberries. There were also local vegetables such as wild onions, beans, leeks, squash, and artichokes.  The beloved seasonal pumpkin pie didn’t exist until maybe another generation or so. Turkey which is readily available to us now was actually difficult to find. Some of the more traditional items we enjoy now became part of the menu after the 17000s.

What are your family traditions during Thanksgiving? At my house, we try to mix it up every year. One year we had a Vietnamese style dinner instead of the traditional turkey. We ended up making Banh Beo. That was fun and my parents enjoyed it. For vegetarians/vegans, there’s the classic tofurky as the main dish. I actually enjoy the side dishes more so. I love mashed potatoes since I don’t get to eat it very often. We started making sweet potato topped with marshmallows. It does sound a little disgusting and overly sweet, but there’s something irresistible about the two flavors. We like to change ours up a little by whipping the sweet potatoes to get it fluffy. We then add a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg to bring out the flavor. 

Thanksgiving has become a joyous tradition in our history. We start to think of all the things we are thankful for. What we continue to be thankful for. We here at are thankful for our kind founder, our readers, our family and friends. What are you thankful for this year?



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