The Redefining Of American Holidays & Traditions – Thanksgiving

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As you get older, it can become difficult to explain why you follow certain Holidays And/Or Traditions

Mainly because they often mean something different to each individual

Thanksgiving for instance

For me growing up, it was an occasion which Family and Friends came together to share a feast, and time together

This often included people who you only see during the Holidays

It was a special, beautiful thing

As a kid in school you draw Pilgrims and Turkeys

Also with Thanksgiving, it can also be a more intimate gathering of Family, and/or Friends than Christmas (Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is my Favorite Holiday)

Or simply, just less people.

But as I looked to decorate my Facebook Background Etc. for Thanksgiving, it got me thinking about our Countries History with it, vs. our Personal History with it

So I looked up the word Pilgrim and found this ‘The Pilgrims – Facts & Summary

The Main Section I checked out was the Following

The native inhabitants of the region around Plymouth Colony were the various tribes of the Wampanoag people, who had lived there for some 10,000 years before the Europeans arrived. Soon after the Pilgrims built their settlement, they came into contact with Tisquantum, or Squanto, an English-speaking Native American. Squanto was a member of the Pawtuxet tribe (from present-day Massachusetts and Rhode Island) who had been seized by the explorer John Smith’s men in 1614-15. Meant for slavery, he somehow managed to escape to England, and returned to his native land to find most of his tribe had died of plague. In addition to interpreting and mediating between the colonial leaders and Native American chiefs (including Massasoit, chief of the Pokanoket), Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn, which became an important crop, as well as where to fish and hunt beaver. In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims famously shared a harvest feast with the Pokanokets; the meal is now considered the basis for the Thanksgiving holiday. After attempts to increase his own power by turning the Pilgrims against Massasoit, Squanto died in 1622, while serving as Bradford’s guide on an expedition around Cape Cod.

Other tribes, such as the Massachusetts and Narragansetts, were not so well disposed towards European settlers, and Massasoit’s alliance with the Pilgrims disrupted relations among Native American peoples in the region. Over the next decades, relations between settlers and Native Americans deteriorated as the former group occupied more and more land. By the time William Bradford died in 1657, he had already expressed anxiety that New England would soon be torn apart by violence. In 1675, Bradford’s predictions came true, in the form of King Philip’s War. (Philip was the English name of Metacomet, the son of Massasoit and leader of the Pokanokets since the early 1660s.) That conflict left some 5,000 inhabitants of New England dead, three quarters of those Native Americans. In terms of percentage of population killed, King Philip’s War was more than twice as costly as the American Civil War and seven times more so than the American Revolution.

I then checked out the Definition of Thanksgiving

thanks·giv·ing
ˌTHaNGksˈɡiviNG/
noun
  1. 1.
    the expression of gratitude, especially to God.
    “he offered prayers in thanksgiving for his safe arrival”
  2. 2.
    (in North America) an annual national holiday marked by religious observances and a traditional meal including turkey. The holiday commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621, and is held in the US on the fourth Thursday in November. A similar holiday is held in Canada, usually on the second Monday in October.

For me our Countries History, and our Personal History are both important

For me, Thanksgiving is a time I get to Cook A Feast (I’m a Vegan, you can check out my ‘Traditional Thanksgiving (Vegan)’ HERE)

And a time to sit around a table with people I truly love, and celebrate life, and one another

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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