The First Thanksgiving Celebration in 1621

The First Thanksgiving Celebration in 1621,

Celebrated every last Thursday of November, Thanksgiving traces its origins to 1621, when the Plymouth settlers and the Wampanoag Indians shared a feast to celebrate a successful harvest. This event symbolizes not only gratitude and survival but also a complex history of collaboration and conflicts between the early European settlers and the Native Americans.

Pilgrims and Wampanoag: The Alliance that Forged the First Thanksgiving

Its roots go back to September 6, 1620, in Plymouth, England, when the ship (the Mayflower) crossed the Atlantic to colonize the New World. The 102 passengers endured more than two months in a fierce storm at sea.

Finally, the cry of “Land!” was heard, uttered with firmness and faith in Divine Providence. Strongly opposed to the doctrine of the Anglican church, this group of “pilgrims” had to eventually cross the ocean to avoid the hangman’s noose.

The Plymouth Rock colony, in what is now Massachusetts, is where the pilgrims established their home. Their first winter in the New American World was extremely difficult.

They Endured Hunger, Cold, and Half of the Settlers Died

With the help of the Wampanoag Indians, they were taught to plant corn the following spring, a plant unknown to the settlers until then. The Indians taught them how to hunt, fish, and grow other types of food.

The harvests of grain, barley, beans, and squash were abundant in the fall of 1621. The settlers organized a feast that Americans have historically called “The First Thanksgiving of America” as a demonstration of their religious gratitude.

The Great Chief and 90 Members of His Wampanoag Tribe Were Invited by the Pilgrims

The Native Americans brought turkeys and venison for roasting (turkeys). In utensils the Indians had never seen before, the settlers (pilgrims) had learned to cook cranberries and to prepare different types of grain.

The Native Americans had even brought popcorn for this first Thanksgiving. Therefore, Thanksgiving and pilgrims continue to be words frequently used together.

Many of the original settlers celebrated a feast in remembrance of the harvest in the following years. The Congress (Council) proposed an annual day of thanksgiving for the entire country to celebrate after the independence of the United States.

George Washington Suggested November 26 as the Benchmark

The date for Thanksgiving. But it was not until 1863, at the end of a prolonged and bloody civil war, that Abraham Lincoln urged all Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and send blessings to family and friends.

Families gather at the residence of the eldest relative, usually the grandparents, despite the vast distances across the United States. They pray for blessings for their loved ones while giving thanks for all they have.

Civic clubs and charitable organizations offer a traditional meal to the most needy members of their community, especially the homeless, in the spirit of giving.

Foods for Thanksgiving Day

The foods served at the first Thanksgiving are now staples on most American tables due to their historical significance, including corn, pumpkins, cranberry sauce, and stuffed turkey.

The event publicly acknowledges the contribution of the Indians to the first Thanksgiving, which took place 390 years ago.

The first settlers would not have survived without the Indians. Thanksgiving is also an important date for the indigenous peoples of North America. They celebrate individually or with their groups, the so-called (National Day of Mourning of Native American Indians).

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