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TOPIC: What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´?

What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´? 1 week 2 days ago #3554184

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Thanksgiving Day, annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people.

But...is it?

Thanksgiving is a holiday about food – but, argues Professor Rachel B Herrmann, it is more specifically a holiday about food’s absence. From starvation to cannibalism, here she charts the history of Thanksgiving in America and considers the significance of the nation’s beloved turkey dinners and cranberry sauce…

In September 1620, after panicking about leaking ships and provisioning problems that had necessitated stops in Southampton, Dartmouth and Plymouth, the Pilgrims bid a final farewell to England. By November they had become grave-robbers.

William Bradford, the future governor of the English colony of Plymouth on the east coast of North America, wrote one of the few surviving accounts of the voyage and life in present-day Massachusetts. It was published in the mid-19th century. Bradford was part of a group of families who believed that the Anglican Church could only be reformed from abroad, and had lived for over a decade in Leiden, Netherlands, before their voyage on the Mayflower to North America.

Bradford described colonists’ anxieties before departure: the people worried that in this new situation, “they should be liable to famine and nakedness and the want, in a manner, of all things.” Their worries were coloured by history. The first permanent English colony in North America – in Jamestown, Virginia – had experienced a Starving Time from 1609–10, and as accusations and denials swirled in the early 1620s, it became clear that some Starving Time colonists had cannibalised Native Americans, and eaten each other.

Perhaps these fears were why, during their first few weeks in the region that has come to be known as New England, colonists stole whatever edible items they could find.

Historian Christopher Heaney explains that upon arrival in New England, English colonists found mounds of sand filled with mats, pots and Wampanoag weaponry, but said that they stopped digging once they realised that they had unearthed a Native American grave.

This admission was a half-truth, because in fact the colonists kept digging once they discovered that some of the graves were filled with maize. For this bounty of “Indian baskets filled with corn”, Bradford thanked the“special providence of God”. The Christians’ theft of this “seed to plant them corn the next year” meant they would be able to avoid starvation.

The colonists needed all the help they could get. Having arrived too late to plant crops, cut down trees and build sufficient housing, they spent the winter on board the Mayflower. Several weeks after they anchored, Bradford’s wife, Dorothy, “fell overboard” and drowned. Most historians think that she took her own life rather than live to face the rigors of the future.

About half of the 102 colonists died. The ensuing years remained difficult. In 1623, for example, one unfortunate fellow who set out to gather shellfish during the cold months was “so weak” that “he stuck fast in the mud and was found dead in the place”.

Important assistance finally arrived in March 1621 in the form of Native American aid. Colonists and Native Americans had seen each other at various points throughout the winter – and in some cases even exchanged shots – but had avoided closer contact up until this point.

Bradford explained that “about the 16th of March, a certain Indian came boldly amongst them and spoke to them in broken English”.
This man, Samoset, had met transient English arrivals to North American – fishermen – from “whom he had got his language”.

Tisquantum had escaped to England and made his way back to North America where, finding that the rest of the Patuxets had died from disease, he sought the protection of more powerful men. Samoset explained that the two of them were keen to make an introduction between the colonists and “their great Sachem”, or leader, named Massasoit. Thus in March 1621, the English signed a treaty with Massasoit, sachem of the Pokanoket Wampanoags. The two groups agreed to mutually aid each other.

It was with Wampanoag help that colonists raised enough corn to feed themselves in 1621, and finally, to harvest their first crops. Tisquantum had spent a planting season showing the Pilgrims how to use fish to fertilise their cornfields, though it is possible that he learned this strategy in England.

In late 1621 the Pilgrims gathered what Bradford described as “a small harvest” of maize. They laid a table with salted and smoked cod and bass, wild turkeys, and perhaps some venison. Bradford did not describe this as a thanksgiving meal, though one of his contemporaries, Edward Winslow, did. At this possible ‘thanksgiving’, then, the Pilgrims discharged their guns (as was common at the time) to announce their celebration.


The gunshots drew the attention of Massasoit, who arrived with several dozen others. Seeing the Pilgrims’ sparse table, the native men disappeared and returned with five freshly killed deer.

Historian Michael LaCombe has convincingly argued that the venison undermined Governor William Bradford’s authority, because Massasoit gave the meat to each of the colony’s leading members, rather than to Bradford himself, for redistribution; the act signified Indians’ control of the country’s edible resources and their propensity for ignoring Bradford’s rule.
www.historyextra.com/period/stuart/thank...-food-dinner-turkey/

Interesting article!
LEAVER DEA AS SLAEF !

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What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´? 1 week 2 days ago #3554189

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Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good (Psalm 136:1).

This season of the year naturally sparks an awareness of what we’re grateful for. Your list, like mine, probably starts with family, friends, health, and other good things.

And while all of those are important, they actually point us toward the deeper blessings we receive from our Heavenly Father.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reflect on how God has worked, both in our lives and around us. If we look, we’ll catch glimpses of His goodness.

Acknowledging and praising them will grow an “attitude of gratitude” in our hearts that will last all year long.

"money buys everything,
but ............common sense."
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What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´? 1 week 2 days ago #3554191

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...and dont forget to thanks the Natives, for without them the Pilgrims would not have survived.

LEAVER DEA AS SLAEF !
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What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´? 1 week 2 days ago #3554208

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Being cynical and having seen how colonisation invariably works out, I think the settlers stole everything from the natives, killed them all and made a nice cosy but fictitious version of events to cover things up.
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What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´? 1 week 2 days ago #3554211

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Per topic for me the holiday was a gathering of family and friends to a good meal and afterwards head deer hunting with family, this was a family thing for many years for some the only time I saw them all year, per logs I have records of 19 years in a row any weather we went except 1 time for heavy ice. This time of year I really think a lot of those times and greatly miss them no family left.
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What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´? 1 week 2 days ago #3554222

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Although I myself don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I could imagine it to be a time for togetherness,with families and friends,treasure them,appreciate each other. Show each other how much you all mean to each other,
Don’t forget the beautiful food.
No home is complete without the pitter patter of kitty feet.
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What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´? 1 week 2 days ago #3554297

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But why Turkey?
It' so dry and tough. Yuk!

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What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´? 1 week 2 days ago #3554301

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Last few we cooked we asked all what they wished had fajitas 1 time steak the other one.. not much of a turkey fan here also but deep fried is good.

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What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´? 1 week 2 days ago #3554302

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olfella wrote: But why Turkey?
It' so dry and tough. Yuk!


cooked the right way ....it is moist and delicious! smile.png
Still and all, once a year is enough to cook a whole turkey!
"money buys everything,
but ............common sense."
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What exactly is ´Thanksgiving´? 1 week 1 day ago #3554470

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Elias Mooseblaster wrote: Being cynical and having seen how colonisation invariably works out, I think the settlers stole everything from the natives, killed them all and made a nice cosy but fictitious version of events to cover things up.


yes i think you are probably right - or at least the reality was probably closer to your version

Thanksgiving is totally not an event in Australia - but we do have similar days which are cosy white washed versions.

Do any native americans object to thanksgiving or any other such days?

Here in Australia there are aboriginal people who object to Australia day - or at least to it being held on Jan 26th and implications of that.
They have a point.
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