History of Thanksgiving

Isabella Potorti, Editorials editor

With the winter season approaching people’s interests in the upcoming holiday origin are engaged. Thanksgiving has been a tradition in the United States since the 1600’s. In the September of 1620 a ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth England with 102 passengers. The people were searching for a place they could have religious freedom and not be forced to practice a religion they do not believe in.  The pilgrims formed a village in Massachusetts in a town later named Plymouth after Plymouth England.

In Nov. 1621, after the first successful corn harvest the Governor of Plymouth; William Bradford organized a celebratory feast. It lasted three days and was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims.

“The meal in 1621 helped to bring people together and we should respect that tradition and invite people from different cultures or those that no longer have family or friends to join them. We as a society are materialistic and stressed about what is coming next. This is a time to stop and enjoy family & friends with some delicious food,” said Sarah Shouse, history teacher.

Thanksgiving has become a holiday for giving thanks and expressing gratitude. Families often gather with their ancestors and have a big meal on thanksgiving day. They may also have a religious service.

“On Thanksgiving we go around the table and everyone shares what they are thankful for” said Madison Yurko, sophomore.

Food like turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes are popular dishes. It is also a common tradition to break the turkey’s wishbone and make a wish on it. The president of the United States also pardons a turkey. This began in 1947 when Harry S. Truman was gifted a turkey. This means the turkey is given to a park or college campus instead of being eaten.

“I think that celebrating Thanksgiving is an important tradition because it is about being grateful and happy for all that we have! I thoroughly enjoy how it has evolved to also include Friendsgiving and the other traditions of watching the parade, football, or shopping the next day. It has become a time that friends and family can all come together to eat and celebrate, without the stress of giving gifts,” said Shouse.

Another popular tradition is charity work. People often volunteer at soup kitchens and homeless shelters on this holiday. Watching parades is also a common activity for people during Thanksgiving. One of the largest most watched parades is in New York City, called the Macy’s Day Parade.

“I am obsessed with watching the Macy’s Day Parade with my Mom and having sauerkraut with my stuffing. I also love being in the kitchen helping to make everything and just feeling relaxed with no work,” said Shouse.

Thanksgiving is a holiday loved by many and a way to sit back and reflect on one’s life and all that one is grateful for.

“It’s important to celebrate Thanksgiving because it gives us an opportunity to spend time with the people we’re thankful for and gives us a day to truly realize what we’re thankful for,” said Yurko.