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Origin of Thanksgiving

  • Author:Cindy
  • Release Date:2021-12-15
The origin of Thanksgiving can be traced back to the beginning of American history, and it originated from the early immigrants of Plymouth, Massachusetts. These immigrants were called Puritans when they were in the British mainland. They were dissatisfied with the incomplete reformation of the Church of England, and the political repression and religious persecution of the King and the Church of England, so these Puritans left the Church of England and left for the Netherlands. Later, he decided to move to the deserted land on the other side of the Atlantic, hoping to live freely according to his own wishes.
In 1620, the famous "Mayflower" ship arrived in America with 102 puritans who could not bear the religious persecution in Britain. In the winter of that year, they encountered unimaginable difficulties and were hungry and cold. At this time, the Indians sent the immigrants with daily necessities and taught them to hunt, fish, and grow corn. With the help of the Indians, the immigrants finally got a bumper harvest. On the day of celebrating the harvest, according to religious traditions, the immigrants set a day to thank God and decided to thank the Indians for their sincere help and invite them to celebrate the holiday together.
On Thursday in late November 1621, the Puritans and 90 Indians brought by Massassod gathered together to celebrate the first Thanksgiving in American history. They fired cannons at dawn, lined up into a room used as a church, expressed gratitude to God religiously, and then lit a bonfire for a grand banquet, and the turkey they were hunted was made into a delicacy to entertain the Indians. Wrestling, running, singing, dancing and other activities were held on the second and third days. The male Puritans went out hunting and catching turkey, while the women used corn, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and fruits to make delicacies at home. In this way, the whites and Indians gathered around the campfire, eating and chatting, singing and dancing, and the whole celebration lasted for three days. Many ways of celebrating the first Thanksgiving have been passed down to future generations.

Thanksgiving in Canada and the United States are not on the same day, and the Canadian Parliament lists Thanksgiving as a statutory holiday later than in the United States. But Canada’s first Thanksgiving is 40 years earlier than the United States.
Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Unlike the American tradition of remembering the ancestors of the Puritans who settled in the New World, Canadians are mainly grateful for the successful harvest given by God. Thanksgiving in Canada is earlier than Thanksgiving in the United States. The simple fact is that the harvest season in Canada is earlier than in the United States because Canada is closer to the north. Canada’s Thanksgiving is generally believed to be influenced by three traditional customs.
One is the influence from European tradition. From the earliest harvest about 2000 years ago, people have celebrated the harvest and thanked the rich nature for their grace and good luck. When Europeans came to Canada, they also brought this tradition into Canada and had an impact on the tradition of Canadian Thanksgiving.
The second is that British explorers celebrate the impact of survival. 40 years before the Puritans landed in Massachusetts, Canada held its first official Thanksgiving Day. In 1578, a British explorer named Martin Frobisher tried to find a passage connecting the east, but he was unsuccessful. But he established a settlement in what is now Newfoundland, Canada, and held a feast to celebrate survival and harvest. Other later settlers continued these "grateful" rituals. This time is considered the first Thanksgiving in Canada.
The third influence came from the later United States. In the autumn of 1621, the British immigrants who traveled across the oceans to the New World of America held a three-day carnival in order to thank God for the harvest. Since then, this custom has continued and has gradually become popular everywhere. During the American Revolution, a group of American royalists loyal to the British royal family migrated to Canada, bringing the habits and methods of American Thanksgiving to Canada. The harvest celebrations in 1750 were brought to Nova Scotia by settlers from the southern United States. At the same time, French settlers arrived and held a "Thanksgiving" feast. All these have had a profound impact on Canadian Thanksgiving.
In the beginning, there was no fixed date for Thanksgiving in the United States, which was decided temporarily by the states. It was not until 1863, after the independence of the United States, that President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday. In 1941, the US Congress officially designated the fourth Thursday of November every year as "Thanksgiving Day." The Thanksgiving holiday generally lasts from Thursday to Sunday.
In 1879, the Canadian Parliament declared November 6th to be Thanksgiving and a national holiday. In the following years, the date of Thanksgiving changed many times. Until January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament declared the second Monday in October every year as Thanksgiving. On this day, thank the Almighty God for blessing Canada and giving Rich harvest.