History of Thanksgiving
Holidays Explained > History of Thanksgiving
What is Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is a holiday that we celebrate and give thanks for a bountiful harvest. It is primarily celebrated in the United States and Canada, and had religious underlying elements to the origin of the holiday. People generally have two days off of work. The holiday happens on the fourth Thursday of November of every year. At this time, people travel back to see their family and enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner complete with typical Thanksgiving dishes such as turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, pumpkin pie, and many other delicious Thanksgiving food. Since Thanksgiving lands in the fall season, many decorative items are fall or harvest themed, such as fall leaves, pumpkins, gourds, corn, turkey, and pilgrims.
What is the history of this holiday?
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers who are religious separatists who left to seek a new home where they could freely practice their faith. Among these people, there are also those who left the mother land for the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After they landed 66 days later, they slowly started the work of establishing a village at Plymouth. These pilgrims met Native Americans who greeted them in English and taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers form an alliance and friendship with another Native American tribe.
In November of the following year, Governor William Bradford of the village organized a celebratory feast and invited groups of Native American allies to join in the festivities. This event is now remembered as the first Thanksgiving for Americans, although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used that term at that time. Their Thanksgiving festival lasted them three days. There are no record that tells us what was included in their menu for this festival, except perhaps the five deer that the Native American guests brought with them and what the Americans had caught on their “fowling” mission
Thanksgiving finally became an official holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln heeded writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale’s campaign to make it a national holiday. President Lincoln granted her request and said to all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife”, and to “heal the wounds of the nation,” as this happened at the height of the Civil War.
How is it celebrated?
|Thanksgiving Macy’s Parade in New York City|
After so many years since the first Thanksgiving dinner, many American households celebrated Thanksgiving with emphasis on less of its original religious significance but focusing on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. A Thanksgiving dinner cannot be complete without a turkey as the center of the menu, as nearly 90 percent of Americans eat it when this holiday comes about. Whether the turkey is roasted, deep-fried, or baked, it is very much enjoyed as a staple for Thanksgiving. Other traditional dishes for this holiday include stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
Some other activities that occur around the time of Thanksgiving is volunteering, where communities hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate. Parades have also become a big part of this holiday in many cities and towns in the United States. Ever since 1924, New York City would host a grand Thanksgiving parade, presented by Macy’s department store. This is the largest and most famous parade in the nation for the holiday, as it attracts 2 to 3 million spectators who observe the 2.5-mile route for the parade. In this Thanksgiving parade it usually features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats with celebrities and giant balloons that shape like cartoon characers.
An unusual activity that began in the mid-20th century starred the president of the United States who has to “pardon” one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing them from being slaughtered by sending them to a farm for retirement.
|Decorative Gourds and Pumpkins|
Decorating for this holiday
The focal point for decorating during Thanksgiving would definitely be the dining table, as the meal itself marks the celebration with your friends and family members. You can decorate your dining table with manmade fall leaves, pumpkins, gourds, candles, and with any other manmade plastic fruits and vegetables. You can also decorate using fall themed paper plates and cups for the dinner itself; those are hassle free as they are for one time use. There are also many decorative items with turkey, such as the realistic turkey candle that we carry in our store. The main thing to remember while decorating for Thanksgiving is to add in elements of fall, harvest, and the colors of orange, brown, and yellow. To start, visit our Thanksgiving shop here at Home Seasons to begin planning for the grandest Thanksgiving dinner party you have ever thrown!
- The Pilgrims had no oven and sugar supply dwindled by the fall of 1621, therefore the first Thanksgiving meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have now become a signature of Thanksgiving dinners.
- Lobster, seal, and swans were on the Pilgrims’ menu.
Visit our blog for more tips on how to decorate for Thanksgiving!
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HomeSeasons would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope everyone will enjoy spending time with friends and family this holiday season! Always be thankful! We will continue the holiday season by posting about Christmas all the way up to the end of December. Stay tuned to our blog for more!
Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to everything around us. If you're in the mood to give more thanks this holiday season, check out our newest blog post for inspiration! You will inspire others to follow in your footsteps and do the same! Thanksgiving is this week!
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For those of you living in a warmer climate area, why not try an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner this year? Visit our post for ideas on how to bring the holiday feast outside! This idea is great for families that have a smaller living room, or have a large family party to host!
While the adults prepare the dinner feast and the decorations, keep the kids busy with a fun and easy Thanksgiving project! Check out the blog post for a list of supplies and ideas to make these fun projects at home with your kids for the holidays!
Get inspired to create a Thanksgiving bunting for your home this holiday! Visit our blog for pictures and ideas we found from the internet that we would like to share with everyone! Thanksgiving will be here sooner than you think!
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Now that Halloween is officially over, we need to start prepping for Fall! Today's post is perfect for those of us with leftover pumpkin seeds. Turn them into a sweet treat with this simple recipe that we're sharing in our newest blog post. In the month of November, we'll be posting more about Fall and Thanksgiving home decor, projects, DIY, recipes and more. Stayed tuned to our blog!
Homeseasons would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! While you stuff yourself silly with turkey and pumpkin pie, don't forget to give thanks to the people around you! Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to do so!
Whether or not you are a fan of lattes, you will still enjoy our latest blog post on Thanksgiving and Fall themed latte art! These decorative little additions to regular lattes make latte drinking a lot more enjoyable. Check out all the fun ones we found!
Check out a few ideas we are sharing with everyone for decorative cornucopias for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday! Cornucopias come in all shapes and sizes and can sometimes be made from items found in your home and kitchen! They make a great piece of home decor or table centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner!
If you're planning to host a Thanksgiving or Fall Dinner party, you're going to need place cards! Get inspired to create Thanksgiving and Fall themed place cards for your next party! Check out our blog and blog post for inspiration!
Learn how to create a 3D tabletop paper pumpkin decoration for Fall and Thanksgiving. They are definitely more fun and unique than real pumpkins! Check out our blog post of instructions on how to DIY this decoration!
Pumpkins are a decorating staple for the Fall months. Learn a few tips and tricks to home decorating with pumpkins in our newest blog post!
Fall is in full swing. Bring some Fall cheer and spirit into your home by decoration for the season! Visit our newest blog post for Fall home decorating inspiration!
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Want to get inspired to decorate ordinary cupcakes into turkey cupcakes for the Fall? Check out our newest blog post for a variety of fun turkey cupcake inspiration! Not only would they be yummy to eat, but they will also look great as a Thanksgiving tabletop decoration! They will definitely be "gobbled" up!
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Get inspired to turn ordinary pumpkins into turkey decorations this Thanksgiving and Autumn. Many of them can be made with items found in your kitchen! They make a fun tabletop decoration for your Thanksgiving dinner or as a porch decoration to bring holiday cheer to your neighborhood!
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Didn't get enough of our cupcake inspiration pictures from Halloween? Have no fear! We're bringing back the series with a Fall edition of cupcake inspirations. Check out all the pictures that are giving us inspiration to decorate our own Fall themed cupcakes. Stay tuned for more installations!
A candle can add a lot of cozy ambiance to your home in the fall. Learn how to DIY a fall leaves candle perfect for Autumn! It makes a great home decoration or gift! Check out our blog post for directions now!
Halloween is officially over! Check out our blog for fun Autumn inspired crafts and recipes. To start off this November, we are sharing with everyone a fun acorn project. Learn how to turn an ordinary acorn into fun Autumn acorn accessories!
I hope everyone has gathered Thanksgiving decorations ideas from our blog and utilized it! What a wonderful holiday today is, this is a good time for everyone to tell their loved ones, even enemies, how appreciative they are to have them in their life. I would like to take this chance to thank all of our loyal customers for supporting us! And if you aren’t our customer just yet, take some time maybe this weekend and check out what we have ready in store for you to decorate your home for Christmas.
Bring Thanksgiving into the classroom! If you are a teacher, you are in luck! Bring together your students and have them help out with Thanksgiving decorating. It is not only fun to decorate together, but also efficient and is a great bonding experience.
Create some outdoor thanksgiving decorations by following this easy craft guide!
Cute Thanksgiving decorating idea! Create cute napkin holders dressed up like your favorite Thanksgiving bird, the turkey! The colors and googly eyes will surely please the kids and other present day pilgrims.
If you have no idea what to do for dinner place cards, we have the simple and cute solution for you here. We found these ideas from At Home and thought we should share this with you!
If you want to go beyond Thanksgiving decorations and just decorate for the Fall season in general, here are some great tips for decorating naturally without having to put a dent in your bank account.
We hope you found these Thanksgiving decorating ideas as inspirational as we did! Now you can continue with your holiday dinner planning with more ideas in mind!