Back in Time to November 1621: First Thanksgiving Is Celebrated In America
Back in Time is ED’s newspaper type column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.
For this incident, we go back in time to 1621 where the events were recorded in a journal by an unknown author.
Plymouth Colony, November 1621: The success of the harvest season culminated in a grand feast in the Plymouth Colony. The Settlers and the Native Americans had joined together to celebrate the prosperous reaping of crops and were seen dubbing this celebration as ‘Thanksgiving’.
The union came along when The Settlers were terribly unprepared for the first winters in an alien land. In order to survive, The Settlers started stocking up goods and supplies to face the cold. And then they were blessed with the expertise of Squanto.
Squanto, a Native American of the Wampanoag tribe is an experienced English speaker. With his help, not only did The Settlers learn how to grow corn, they also learnt how to use fish to fertilize their fields.
Soon, a formal agreement was finalised between The Settlers and The Native American people to join together and protect each other from other tribes in March.
On one such day, this fall, four Settlers went hunting to gather meat for the celebration of the harvest. The Native Americans heard gunshots and mistook it as a signal for war. The head of the Wampanoag tribe was soon seen visiting The Settlers to put the rumours to rest and enter a coalition.
He also sent some of his men to hunt and together the two parties engaged in a grand feast that lasted three days with incidences of not only feasting but also, dancing, singing and playing games together.
Post-scriptum: Allegedly in the middle of somewhere 1637, The Settlers went paranoid regarding the cessation of their colonial expansion and thus opened arms on 700 men, women and children in the annual Green Corn Festival celebrations near the present day Connecticut.
Thus, for some Native Americans, Thanksgiving became a reminder of genocide by the Englishmen who took advantage of innocent indigenous people who only tried to help them settle in an alien country.
The peace between The Settlers and Native Americans might not have lasted longer than a generation but over a period of time, the festival started to gain huge popularity in North America.
The modern day Thanksgiving as we see, was started around the 19th century after president Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday as a reminder of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”.
Instead of the deer, corn, shellfish, and roasted meat that were cooked in the first Thanksgiving meal, present day celebrations of the festival involve a golden-brown roasted turkey with a scrumptious pie and freshly brewed cider.
The festival has gradually evolved into a tradition of celebrating thankfulness towards our loved ones for their esteemed presence in our lives and being grateful to the lord for everything that he has granted. It is a day to remember God and thank garner his blessings for being ever-gracious and forgiving.
Abiding by that, we’d like to wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!
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