By Mrs. Margaret Ikladious: Thanksgiving Day


Thanksgiving Day

Written by: Mrs. Margaret Ikladious

The beginning of the celebration of Thanksgiving, one of the most influential American holidays, dates back to the seventeenth century.

When a group of immigrants to America lost their way upon their arrival to the New World without bringing enough food with them.

Historical references say that many British immigrants fled to Holland and from there to the American coast using a wooden boat named Mayflower.

The voyage finally reached the eastern shore of Massachusetts in October or November of 1621.

However, their arrival coincided with the entry of the winter season, which is characterized by severe cold and rain.

In addition to the heavy snow that decimated most of them because of their ignorance of fishing and farming methods.

Only two Native American Indians helped them survive, "Samost," who met directly with the group of displaced people, so she was afraid of him until he uttered the word "welcome," which he learned from the owner of another English boat called "Squanto," who

He spoke clear English, which he learned from his travels to England and Europe.

They provided the food and taught them to hunt birds, animals, fish, and shellfish, grow corn, and grow the crops grown by the indigenous Amerindians.

And when the good and the harvest increased, the new colonists began to celebrate the occasion as an annual tradition. They did not invite the Red Indians and the tribes to which they belong (in periods of peace, of course) to celebrate the blessing that God bestowed upon them in their new country to celebrate what they called at the time the Thanksgiving feast.

And it became an annual occasion in which they expressed their thanks to God by presenting their fruits and gifts. They ate the turkey in a solemn banquet that lasted the whole night, during which they exchanged beer and toasts with the indigenous people; of the Red Indians.

Theoretically, the celebration does not carry religious or ethnic ceremonies, and perhaps, for this reason, it is considered a national holiday of the first degree for all Americans, as it is chronologically related to the period following the season harvest.

The harvest festivals are known to all the peoples of the earth. This holiday is considered an official holiday in America, and all Americans of all sects and races celebrate it because it is a secular holiday.

It is not religious and is celebrated inside homes, not only in churches but during which family members gather at a table full of delicious dishes for that day..!!

Historically, most immigrants were fleeing religious persecution in England and persecution in the Netherlands, to which they first fled.

The first Thanksgiving, which may have been in late October 1621, was a celebration of a successful harvest and abundant Thanksgiving, immediately after their arrival on American soil.

 The newcomers to America may have had the traditional bird now, the turkey. Still, it was not the centerpiece of their favorite meal, and those who participated in the first-holiday feast had something very different on their dishes that we will tell you later..!!!

The European arrivals invited the local Indians and held a wonderful feast of whatever they could catch, from the sea or hunting in the woods, and mingled well with them on such occasions.

And since Plymouth had few buildings and manufactured goods, most people ate outside while sitting on the floor or barrels with wooden boards and curled up next to pots of cooked food.

The men shot and ran in races and drank wine and beer as they struggled to speak in broken English and Wampanoag!!!

This was a somewhat disorderly affair, but he made a treaty between the two groups that lasted until

King Philip's War (1675-1676) Hundred of colonists and thousands of Native Americans lost their lives.

In any case, here I am mentioning to you a list of seven animals eaten by the settlers in Plymouth Colony (the second English colony established in America) and the Native Americans from the American Indians in eastern America on the first Thanksgiving.

1- Deer:

The original Amerindians (Wampanoag) invited by the new arrivals hunted five deer to offer to European immigrants, so we know that deer was on the menu for Thanksgiving dinner in 1621. .!!!

2- Waterfowl:

The Thanksgiving turkey was known to take the back seat of another bird at the First Harvest Festival.

New immigrants such as Edward Winslow described eating "waterfowl" at the Thanksgiving meal, most likely ducks or geese.

 However, the birds served in the meal may also be the swan or the now-extinct passenger pigeon..!!

3- Extinct chicken:

This chicken of the grouse family was ubiquitous in the Plymouth region.

So it is likely that they were among the birds described as being present in the meal as they were abundant and fed on the ground, making them relatively easy to hunt and kill, which led to the disappearance of their species and their extinction with time.

4- American bald eagle

According to some sources, immigrants and Native Americans ate the national bird despite it being an American legend..!!!!

5- Crabs or lobsters:

The first Thanksgiving meal was more wonderful than you could have imagined. Lobsters were probably served to revelers in 1621..!!

According to tradition, the Pilgrims first learned about the fearsome-looking crustacean from the Native Americans because who really could look at this thing for the first time and expect it to be edible? !!!

6- Eels:

This slippery fish was once found in New England rivers and likely was caught and served to pilgrims and their guests.

Squanto is said to be a famous Patuxite citizen who helped the patient 

New immigrants to survival teach them how to catch a fatty and nutritious eel that can keep them through the cold winter…!!!

7. Atlantic cod

Cod was so typical around New England that immigrants could catch it easily from the surrounding waters.

It was after Squanto helped them. The Indians also had to teach the incompetent immigrants how to catch fish and use it as fertilizer for crops..!!

 If you want an extra delicious Thanksgiving meal and stay more faithful to the historical records, add one or more of these to green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.

The current traditional meal for that day is undoubtedly a large turkey with mashed potatoes, green salad, and spinach, in addition to the turkey stuffing of toasted bread, sage, celery, chopped onions, vegetables, chestnuts, raisins, bacon, apples, and cooked zucchini Carrots, venison pastries, and yellow squash pie. Cranberries are a staple on the table. Apple juice sits on the throne of the table, plenty of grilled and boiled corn, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, walnut pie, and maple-flavored candy.

But no one knows how turkey became a Thanksgiving staple in America.

But it was reported that by 1857 turkey had become part of the traditional dinner in New England.

The resumed turkey being eaten now is very different from the wild turkey known to European immigrants..!!!

But currently, some do not celebrate Thanksgiving because they may not be integrated into the American culture or because they do not see any indication on the occasion that necessitates the celebration or the difference in cultures, even though it is a national holiday that invites everyone to give thanks to God for every gift and gifts..!!

It is known that Sarah Josepha Hill famously campaigned for a national Thanksgiving in the United States during the nineteenth century and eventually won the support of President Abraham Lincoln in 1863...!!

He and subsequent presidents declared a national day of Thanksgiving annually until 1941.

In 1941, the US Congress approved the celebration of this holiday on the last Thursday of the month that comes before the last Saturday of November of each year. It is considered an official federal holiday in which government departments, schools, and most private sector institutions, including banks and commercial business companies, are suspended.

There is a funny tradition followed by the White House since 1989 is that the US President "pardoned" a "presidential" turkey on Thanksgiving night and freed it from slaughter in front of a large crowd of journalists and photographers who take a picture of the turkey that seems "happy" with its survival. There are two turkeys, one of them as a reserve if one of them misbehaves during the pardon ceremony.

And the pardon is implemented by the two roosters so that their meat becomes food on the tables, so they live the rest of their lives in a particular zoo for children, where they can touch and raise the animals.

It is known at that time each year that thousands of charitable organizations or companies serve hot Thanksgiving dinners to the needy and to everyone who comes for the meal.

Millions of turkeys are donated to families every year.

Hours before the celebration, which is the last Thursday of November, the roads, airports, and trains are crowded with travelers who spend the holiday with their large families, and their number may exceed twenty-one million.

Among the most important symbols of Thanksgiving, which have continued to be celebrated until now, and whose presence has been noticed, whether on the dinner table or in the image of the decorations of that celebration:

Distinctive colors for this celebration:

 They are red, orange, and yellow and represent warmth, creativity, comfort, and other feelings of happiness and peace.

These colors perfectly represent the mood and feeling that this holiday embodies..!!

Thanksgiving is the day to be grateful and truly aware of the blessings and peace of mind going on around you.

 Turkey :

A Thanksgiving celebration would be incomplete without the legendary turkey, a traditional dinner that reminds the four wild turkeys served on the first Thanksgiving. The bird was a sign of the nation's great wealth and ability to provide for its citizens.

 And the turkey on Thanksgiving is the tangible symbol of America's ingenuity and the myth of its national origin..!!

 Cornucopia or the horn of the God of abundance Copia:

The Cornucopias is a symbol of nature's productivity. It is "the horn of his god of plenty" and is the most common symbol of the Harvest Festival.

It is a bowl or basket braided and braided from wicker branches of wood in the shape of a trumpet filled with an abundance of the produce of the harvest and the bounties of God.

In the past, the traditional horns of plenty were the curved goat horn..!!

According to ancient Greek myths, one of the horns of a goat was called Amalthea.

 The trumpet produces salivary and nectar that was the food and drink of the gods, and it is assumed that this goat patronized the God Zeus as a child. .!!

Later Zeus placed the image of the goat in the sky known today as the constellation Capricorn to show his gratitude..!!

Then the water nymphs filled the horn with flowers and fruits to present it to the goddess of abundance called Copia.

 Pumpkin or honeydew:

Another symbol is the pumpkin pie, which is one of the most important symbols of the harvest festival and is a favorite among Americans and represents the ancient ring of fire and sits around it, Everyone is left at night to frighten the ferocious animals and their dimensions, so it has become a symbol of strength.

Apple juice and beer:

Americans used to drink cider or beer of all kinds on that day, considering that apples symbolize good luck, fertility, love, and abundance, and represent the mixing of the indigenous people with the European immigrants!!!!

Corn, beans, and zucchini:

The indigenous peoples of America taught the new immigrants to grow these grains, with zucchini next to them. They became interconnected at the thanksgiving table like sisters. It became cooked as a staple food in every Thanksgiving celebration and symbolized the earth's much good. These grains, especially corn, are considered one of the crops—the first and significant in America.

Cranberries: It is a type of berry

The fruit plant was initially called Crane Berry, reminding immigrants of the Crane bird because of its pink, drooping-headed flowers. The immigrants discovered how to sweeten bitter cranberries with brown maple sugar.

Cranberry sauce was and still is a staple with turkey during Thanksgiving dinner.

 Maple leaves:

So far, maple leaves are used in the official decorations of Thanksgiving, with their colors gradient and symbolizing the entry of autumn, however, on their ability to extract brown sugar from the maple, which indicates that despite the advent of autumn and winter, there is something to help them over these days.

 Mature figurines:

Sculptures in silhouettes were used, made of straw and colored fabrics backed by dry bamboo wood, to fix them in the ground. The symbolism of their use depicts the nomadic peasants and women of the new immigrants to America. It reminds people of the first immigrants when they came and learned to farm, cultivate the land, raise and hunt Animals, birds, and fish..!!!

Sunflowers, lilies, roses, and flowers:

Gratitude is usually shown by bringing flowers as an expression..!

 So you find flowers, lilies, and roses arranged as head units on tables, living rooms, or at the center of the Thanksgiving table.

Dark pink or peach roses are perfect examples of flowers that symbolize gratitude.

Chrysanthemums, alstroemeria, tulips, and sunflowers are beautiful ways to represent your close-knit clan and are also great flowers.

As for colors, fall colors are always the best choice for Thanksgiving flowers, but the meanings of specific colors may be more closely related to Thanksgiving than others..!!

Here are the colors of the shukro flowers, their symbolism in the celebration:

 Yellow spreads happiness and joy.

 Orange shows excitement or enthusiasm.

 Purple, which expresses feelings of admiration and tradition.

 Green is always associated with good health and good luck.

 Pink symbolizes unromantic love; this is family day.

Rooster stuffing:

It is known that the turkey is stuffed with a lot of toasted bread, mixed vegetables, and some sauce, and all of this symbolizes the different types of bread that come out of the ground but in a processed and cooked form.

The mixed and colored vegetables indicate that each. Regardless of his color, creed, language, or the nature of his life and culture, whoever lives in America must coexist with others under the banner of one community and the new land..!!

As for the broth and sauce added to make the rooster desirable, it indicates that mixture that occurred after the migration and in the end became for it the current form of life.

That is why we have come to the end of the article and wish everyone a happy holiday. See you in a new story soon.

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