Thursday, November 23, 2006

thanksgiving









"According to historical sources, the Pilgrims never held an autumnal Thanksgiving feast. The Pilgrims did have a feast in 1621 near Plymouth, Massachusetts, after their first harvest. This is the feast people often refer to as "The First Thanksgiving." This feast was never repeated, so it can't be called the start of a tradition, nor did the colonists or Pilgrims call it a Thanksgiving Feast. In fact, to these devoutly religious people, a day of thanksgiving was a day of prayer and fasting.

Nevertheless, the 1621 feast has become a model for the Thanksgiving celebration in the United States. More than likely, this first harvest feast was eaten outside, based on the fact that the colonists didn't have a building large enough to accommodate all the people who came. Native Americans definitely were among the invited guests, and it's possible, even probable, that turkey (roasted but not stuffed) and pumpkin in some form found their way to the table. The feast is described in a firsthand account presumably written by a leader of the colony, Edward Winslow, as it appears in Mourt's Relation:

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

From this we know that the feast went on for three days, included 90 "Indians," as Native Americans were called then, and had plentiful food. In addition to the venison provided by the Native Americans, there was enough wild fowl to supply the village for a week. The fowl included ducks, geese, turkeys and even swans."

thanksgiving square

14 comments:

spadoman said...

The tradition for me as an adult was always looked forward to because it was a day off of work. The day off was celebrated in a traditional way with the turkey dinner. But my mother, always carrying on the teachings of her youth, made Italian food to go along with the "American" turkey. We had lasagna with meatballs and sausage along with Italian style green beans, salad and fruit and melon for palette cleansing.

Now, my children celebrate the way we did with the turkey dinner. I will show up and be cheerful and respectful of the invite from those I love.

I have a lot to be thankful for, many prayers answered. And morre prayers waiting for their time to be acted upon. One of the things I'm thankful for is my base of friends here at Betmo's place.

Peace to all.

Chuck said...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to betmo & everyone here!

Remember the families that don't have enough food, that can't be together today and whose lives have forever been destroyed by the bush LIE.

No said...

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

shawn (aka blogstud) said...

Thanks for the history, b. I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving.

shawn

Anonymous said...

Where ever it started from; whoever made turkey and pumpkin pie the defaults: Thank you Thank you Thank you!:) Thanksgiving is always a week long celebration for me, because there's "leftovers" week. There's only two ways I like Turkey: In my belly, and about to go in my belly!!

I hope you and your family enjoy this day!

msliberty said...

Happy, peaceful Thanksgiving, Betmo.

Thank you for all you do.

Sarah said...

Happy Thanksgiving to Betmo and everybody who visits here!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the lovely post about Thanksgiving "firsts." It was my second dessert, after the mountain-high coconut meringue pie.
We had twenty five friends and family here mid-day. Many of them have now gone to another relative's house, hoping they can muster up a decent appetite. Poor things. Blended families make things so interesting.
Hope your day was great, Betmo.

Kvatch said...

Betmo...I just wanted to stop by before the day is out and wish you and your's a happy Thanksgiving!

betmo said...

a very happy thanksgiving to all of you and yours also!! we had a grand day of eating and eating and chatting and laughing. i am truly thankful for this thanksgiving and for being able to spend it with family. i am thankful for my online friends and my 'real world' friends too. i am thankful for all i have and the ability to have it.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving Betmo! Thanks for the thoughtful and informative post.

I'm with future - thank the gods for the one who made Turkey and Pumpkin Pie defaults - for me, the Pumpkin Pie - before Turkey, after Turkey, and with plenty of whipped cream :)

Ellie said...

Happy Thanksgiving Betmo!!

charlie said...

I shared a real American family Thanksgiving yesterday here in Alabama and experienced once again the unstinting generosity and kindness of real American people. Online or 'real', I have nothing but praise for the common man and woman, betmo. Best wishes to you all

Anonymous said...

Really interesting post.