Why Do We Celebrate Thanksgiving

Unveiling the Real History of Thanksgiving: Examining the Origin and Evolution of the Holiday

Early Beginnings of the Festival of Thanksgiving in America

The mid-17th century saw the initial Thanksgiving gathering come to fruition in America, spearheaded by settlers of Plymouth. However, the concept of offering up thanksgiving had been observed in numerous cultures much prior. The settlers celebrated the successful harvest of the year with intimate gatherings of prayer, feasting, and joy. With the ascension of colonization in the newly-discovered territory, the holiday began to adopt other European traditions, including prayer and fasting.

Colonists Following in the Footsteps of Native Tribes

While the first Thanksgiving is often attributed to the settlers of Plymouth Colony, this notion is steeped in historical inaccuracy. For aeons prior, Native American tribes celebrated an equivalent festival in acknowledgement of their successful planting and harvesting. In 1621, the Wampanoag Native American tribe of Massachusetts paid a visit to the pilgrims and offered up contributions for the beleaguered settlers. Thus, many Indigenous nations are credited with initiating a precedent demonstrating Thanksgiving's deep-rooted history. Certainly, without their assistance, the settlers of Plymouth may never have determined adequate sustenance.

The National Holiday of Thanksgiving

With the establishment of the Continental Congress in 1775, the United State of America had their first yet-ephemeral domain of government and the suggestion of national holidays soon followed. During its first presidency, George Washington proclaimed a national day reserved for thanksgiving; however, it was not until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln, in his Proclamation, declared the fourth Thursday of November as the nationally-sanctioned day for Thanksgiving.

What Does the Holiday Represent and why do we celebrate thanksgiving ?

The ultimate significance of Thanksgiving is supposed to be the offer of thankful tribute, funded gracefully by bountiful harvests. The modern celebration of the holiday encompasses human togetherness in commemoration of the ancestral survival of Pilgrims and Indians in colonial America. The symbolic feasting is meant to identify similar travails which have been experienced throughout history, thus garnering appreciation from a place of friendliness and fortitude. Thanksgivings, these days, evolves around the societal participation in shared expressions of compassion and goodwill.

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