Next-Gen

Thanksgiving - Why do we celebrate?

In Glogpedia

by MrsSaiki
Last updated 23 days ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
World Culture
Grade:
5

Test Glog

In this lesson I will:- Determine my opinion or point of view on a topic or text- Support my opinion with facts and details- Select a topic and gather information to- Share with my audience- Introduce my topic by providing my general observation/focus; use formatting structures, illustrations, and multimedia to clarify my topic

ThanksgivingWhy do we celebrate it?by Mrs. Saiki

The holiday dates back to 1621, the year after the Puritans arrived in Massachusetts, determined to practice their dissenting religion without interference. After a rough winter, in which about half of them died, they turned for help to neighboring Indians, who taught them how to plant corn and other crops. The next fall's bountiful harvest inspired the Pilgrims to give thanks by holding a feast.The Thanksgiving feast became a national tradition — not only because so many other Americans have found prosperity but also because the Pilgrims' sacrifices for their freedom still captivate the imagination.To this day, Thanksgiving dinner almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpkin pie. Before the meal begins, families or friends usually pause to give thanks for their blessings, including the joy of being united for the occasion.

It is true that Squanto and his fellow Native Americans helped the Pilgrims to grow crops and get sap from trees and survive the harsh winters of what would become New England. But the very first harvest feast that these two peoples enjoyed was not called Thanksgiving.Rather it was a celebration of the fall harvest, when vegetables were pulled from the ground and off stalks and made ready for a big meal.Pilgrims and Native Americans dined together at the same tables, yes, and they played games together and demonstrated their bow-and-arrow and musket-shooting skills to each other. But they didn't call it Thanksgiving until 1624.That year, William Bradford, the governor of the Plymouth Colony, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was really a day of fasting and prayer. (Remember, fasting is when you don't eat. So, Thanksgiving started out as a day of not eating.) And the day the members of the Plymouth Colony celebrated this day of fasting and prayer in thanksgiving was November 29.So we have two ideas coming together: a day of thanksgiving for the fall harvest, on which people fasted and prayed, and a great feast to celebrate the bounty of the fall harvest. Since both activities celebrated the same thing--the fall harvest--it's only natural that they eventually merged (like so many other American holidays).This merged celebration continued informally through the years, until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday of November a national holiday called Thanksgiving.


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