Thanksgiving: The Pilgrim Way

Thanksgiving Dinner, Craig Adderley

CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL- The national holiday of Thanksgiving is a cherished tradition that started in Plymouth, Massachusetts when the pilgrims and Native Americans held a feast together. This celebration, which began in 1621, is used to express gratitude.

It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November,” states. 

Although, as mentioned earlier, the traditional feast wasn’t officially a holiday until 1863, many people still celebrated it. The original autumn harvest meal was between the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Native Americans. This ignited a custom where days of thanksgiving were commemorated by individual colonies and states. Eventually, President Lincoln recognized it as a national holiday.

There was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc.,” William Bradford, the Pilgrim colony’s governor, writes in On Plymouth Plantation. 

The first Thanksgiving feast was celebrated because of the autumn harvest. It didn’t have a specific menu, but some items were assumed to be on the list., including hunted turkey, likely among many other meats, local fruits and vegetables that were picked and grown, and fish and shellfish that were easily harvested and abundant. Surprisingly, potatoes and pumpkin pie, which are commonplace today, were not something the colonists and Native Americans originally consumed. 

The holiday moved away from its religious roots to allow immigrants of every background to participate in a common tradition,” David Silverman of Britannica remarked.