SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thanksgiving Day History

Thanksgiving Day is one of the greatest American holidays and one of the biggest festive occassions annually celebrated around the world. This wonderful article is an endeavor to familiarize you with the origin of this interesting holiday that is observed every year with great fervor. If you like reading about the history of Thanksgiving Day, click here and share this article with your friends and loved ones who you think will be interested to read it. Wish you a happy Thanksgiving Day!

History Turkey Greeting Cards Symbols Party Ideas Trivia
Round The World Proclamation Recipes Send Thanksgiving Wishes Thanks in many Languages Fun Facts
Jokes & One Liners Card Facts Quiz What to do on Thanksgiving Thanksgiving in Coming Years Movie Suggestion
Thanksgiving Day Songs Facts & Trivia Quotes Proverbs Party Games Ideas Thanksgiving Day Turkey Song

Religion is, perhaps, as old as man himself. It is not known when mankind discovered its relation with the almighty and began to have faith on the powers of the divine. Whether a collective human experience or belief in knowledge from unfailing sources gave rise to trust on the divine powers in the human mind has always been a subject of great debate.
But it can safely be conjectured that the human faith in god and his beneficent abilities is the only reason behind the celebration of Thanksgiving Day.

Modern historians believe that the custom of Thanksgiving began much before the remarkable incident of 1620. In earlier times, when mankind was greatly dependent on agriculture for their livelihood and farming used to be the main profession for everyone, the annual harvest was something of great concern. A good harvest was seen as a blessing of God and people used to express their gratitude to the almighty whenever there was a good yield at the end of the year.

It is this tradition that is now popularly known as "Thanksgiving" and it was the main custom observed during the harvest festivals that have been celebrated everywhere across the world since primitive times. Almost every culture in the world has held celebrations of thanks for a plentiful harvest. Early European inhabitants unfailingly observed the "Thanksgiving tradition during their annual harvest celebrations.

The questioning of former religious beliefs was one of the outcomes of the great Renaissance movement that swept Europe. It led to a sharp division between the followers of Christianity with the result that two groups, the Catholics who adhered to the older beliefs and teachings of the Church and the Protestants who began to look at religion from an altogether new angle. The then ruler of England, King James I, did not look favourably upon the Protestants and by royal orders such people were punished and persecuted. Under his reign, the Protestants could not enjoy their rights to worship and many of them fled to other countries, such as the Netherlands, to live according to their wish. Naturally, many of these people agreed to sail to and settle in America when they got the opportunity to do so.

In the fateful year of 1620, more than one hundred people boarded a boat to sail across the Atlantic Ocean and settle in America, or the New World as it was popularly known back then. These people were English protestant worshipers and they wanted to separate from the Church of England to seek religious freedom in a new land.

The place where they first landed in America is now known as the state of Massachusetts. The pilgrims established a colony of their own and even drew up a set of rules to which everyone of them agreed to abide by. But their successful arrival in the country was soon to be followed by gloom and despair. The winter season was severe that year, and too much for the pilgrims who were unaccustomed to the harsh weather conditions in what was a new land to them. Besides, their food stocks had been nearly exhausted and having arrived too late to grow crops, they were out of fresh food. Soon, about half the people of the colony perished.

Then came the spring of 1621 and the colonists decided to engage in some serious agricultural activity. They received much help from the native American Indians who gave them seeds and showed them how to grow corn (maize), a new food for the colonists. They also taught them how to hunt and fish.

The combined efforts bore fruit when the colonists reaped a successful harvest in the autumn of 1621, comprising of crops like corn, barley, beans and pumpkins. The happiness called for a thanksgiving to the almighty as well as a great celebration. Hence, the pilgrims organised a feast and invited the local Indian chief and ninety Indians without whom their agricultural activities would probably never have succeeded. The colonists made journey cakes, corn meal bread, nuts, succotash, cranberries and various dishes of corn and squash. The Indians brought along deer to roast with the turkeys. The meal was a sumptuous one.

This autumn harvest celebration of 1621 became an annual tradition that was followed in the subsequent years by the colonists. It is widely regarded to be first Thanksgiving celebration in America. After the U.S. gained her independence,
the American Congress put forward the proposal of having an annual national Thanksgiving celebration. In 1789, George Washington issued a general proclamation designating November 26 as a day of National Thanksgiving in the U.S.A. But it was not until 1863 that Thanksgiving Day was nationally recognized in the country. It was with the formal proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln that the last Thursday in November was set as a day of thanksgiving and praise. But this day was later changed by the Congress. In 1941, the Congress declared that the fourth Thursday of November was henceforth to be recognized as a federal holiday dedicated to thanksgiving celebrations.

Thereafter, Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Every year, it witnesses fervid celebrations in the country. It is not only a day to thank God for a good annual harvest, but also a time to express gratitude to all those people who stand by you and care for you all year long. It is a day to say 'thanks' to whoever you feel should be shown gratitude.

Back to Thanksgiving Main
Mother's Day Greeting Cards
Mother's Day Invitation Cards
Kiss
Love
Hug
Friendship
Chinese Zodiacs for you

History Turkey Greeting Cards Symbols Party Ideas Trivia
Round The World Proclamation Recipes Send Thanksgiving Wishes Thanks in many Languages Fun Facts
Jokes & One Liners Card Facts Quiz What to do on Thanksgiving Thanksgiving in Coming Years Movie Suggestion
Thanksgiving Day Songs Facts & Trivia Quotes Proverbs Party Games Ideas Thanksgiving Day Turkey Song
Current Events
World Aids Day
[1st December]
Mawlid al-Nabi
[11th December]
Hanukkah
[24th December]
Christmas
[25th December]
Greeting Cards
Invitation Cards
Kwanzaa
[Dec.26-Jan.1]

Back to Home | Nostalgia | Flowers | Kiss | Love | Graduation | Birthday | Business | Thank You | Husband-Wife | New-Born | Pets | Friendship | Nature | Virtual Food
Good-Morning | Get-Well-Soon | Peace | Hello | Hi | Cartoons | Humor | Sorry! | Anniversary | Good Luck | Weekend | Hugs | Toys | Cricket Greeting Cards