WHY DO WE CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING AND WHERE DID WE GET ALL OF OUR TRADITIONS FROM??
WELL, FORGET EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT THANKSGIVING BECAUSE THESE MYTH BUSTERS WILL SET YOU STRAIGHT.
Thanksgiving myths busted: When the Mayflower pilgrims and the Wampanoag (native american tribe) sat down for the first Thanksgiving in 1621, it wasn’t actually that big of a deal. Likely, it was just a routine English harvest celebration that did not involve religion, family, or turkey. We also know very little about the first Thanksgiving, that is why our government did not establish it as a national holiday until the 19th century, during the Civil War to be exact by Abraham Lincoln. So in short, we have developed our own traditions over the years and just assumed they came from the original breaking of bread.
1. THANKSGIVING MYTHS: THANKSGIVING MEANS GORGE ON FOOD
Wrong. To Pilgrims a “thanksgiving” was a time of powerful fasting and they actually never used such a word to describe their meal in the letter written by pilgrim Edward Winslow. Alexander Young published a book containing the letter and called it their “first Thanksgiving” in the footnotes and the word stuck.
2. THANKSGIVING MYTHS: THEY WERE THE FIRST SETTLERS
Little did the pilgrims know, Cape Cod and Plymouth were well populated communities before they got there. Europeans who sailed there in the mid to early 1610’s found flourishing communities along the coast, but by 1620 when they Mayflower arrived, the area looked abandoned. Just a couple of years before they arrived an epidemic wiped out most of the coastal population so what the pilgrims thought to be undiscovered land was actually just a cemetery.
3. THANKSGIVING MYTHS: PILGRIMS ATE TURKEY
What did the Pilgrims eat at their Thanksgiving meal? Well they certainly didn’t eat apples, pears, green beans or even cranberries. No one knows if they even had turkey, the only food we know they had for sure was deer. We have adapted our Thanksgiving menu off what the Victorians ate for their first Thanksgiving and subsequently attributed it to the pilgrims.
Even though many of our beliefs have come from falsehood, I still consider Thanksgiving a wonderful holiday because it makes the entire nation spend time thinking about what we are thankful for and forces us to get together with family. We have so much to be thankful for and if anything good comes from the holiday is that it makes us recognize all the good we have in our lives.