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What is Thanksgiving

Started by Geekyfanboy, November 26, 2008, 10:35:42 AM

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Well Meds asked me over IM "what is Thanksgiving" and I really couldn't give him a proper answer other then we eat lots of food with family and friends.. so I looked it up.

Here is why we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States.

What is the history of Thanksgiving in United States? The initial "Thanksgiving" feast, held in 1621, was really a traditional English harvest celebration. The Pilgrims shared it with the Native Americans because they had taught the colonists to plants crops and hunt wild game. Without the Native Americans, the Pilgrims may not have survived the harsh winter and been able to celebrate their first harvest of plentiful crops in the New World. The colonists' first harvest feast lasted for three days. Food was served all at once, instead of in courses, so people ate whatever they pleased in the order that they desired. The more important members at the feast were given the best pieces of meat, while the rest of the diners ate whatever was closest to them. Since the Pilgrims didn't use forks or plates, they ate their meal straight off the table with spoons, knives or their fingers. They used large napkins to wipe their hands and also wrapped it around food when it was too hot to hold.

The history of Thanksgiving demonstrates that feasts like the one at Plymouth were held throughout the colonies after fall harvests. However, all thirteen colonies did not celebrate Thanksgiving at the same time. In 1789, George Washington became the first president to declare Thanksgiving a holiday. By the mid-1800s, many states observed the Thanksgiving holiday. Meanwhile, the poet and editor, Sarah J. Hale, had begun lobbying for a national Thanksgiving holiday. During the Civil War President Abraham Lincoln looking for ways to unite the nation, discussed the subject with Hale. In 1863 he gave his Thanksgiving Proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November a day of Thanksgiving.

In 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt, seeking to lengthen the Christmas shopping season, proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November. Controversy ensued, and Congress passed a joint resolution in 1941 decreeing that Thanksgiving should fall on the fourth Thursday of November, where it remains. What is Thanksgiving today? At its heart, it's a holiday where family and friends congregate to catch up, reminisce, tell jokes, share scrumptious food and generally give thanks for all the good things in life-exactly what they did at the very first Thanksgiving.


Kenny, surely you knew that first bit from grade school, yes? Didn't you have all those Pilgrim plays and dress ups? Maybe growing up in the Northeast we had more of that going on is school. Best Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim play ever..."Addams Family Values"! LOL!!


Of course I knew it was about Pilgrims and Native Americans eating together.. I played a Pilgrim in our school play. But I really didn't know anything beyond that.


I thought Thanksgiving was all about eating until you can barely move and then watching football?  ;)


Welll, I'm glad Meds asked as I didn't have a clue either.

In one sense, I'm not sure it helps to know except, I suppose, I can now go to work on Thursday and feel more knowledgeable about why I don't get a day off!

I know it's unnusual here but I don't have a podcast of my own.


Thanksgiving ?  The day before Black Friday !!


Hey, Happy Thanksgiving everybody!  I'm just headed out of town to the relatives.  I have my new Ipod Touch that I will be testing out.  Woo hoo!  See you all later tonight.  I can surf to the forums with it. :)

I celebrate Thanksgiving because I am grateful for my country, family, God and friends!

I have been and always will be, your friend.
Listen to our podcast each week http://www.takehimwithyou.com


Wish we had Thanksgiving, A English harvest and we don't get to crack open a tinny. Thanks for the answer Kenny, i feel a bit more wiser today.


It's one of those early day's where we yanks decided to tell the brits to sod off!!!! ;)


You keep telling me to sod off now as well ;)


Quote from: HawkeyeMeds on November 27, 2008, 09:21:15 AM
You keep telling me to sod off now as well ;)

See?! It's become a tradition!!!! ;)