Holiday Season

Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving was in the autumn of 1621 (Picture gathered by Emily Hailstone)

Staff Writer: Charley Snyder 

Thanksgiving is one of the most recognizable and celebrated holidays in American history.  But how did this holiday come to be? And how has it lasted almost 400 years?

Thanksgiving was first celebrated when the pilgrims from Great Britain arrived in the New World. Or at least that’s how we think Thanksgiving came to be. However, that is not entirely true. Thanksgiving was a religious service that first came to be in England under the rule of King Henry VIII.

Thanksgiving as we know it was first celebrated in 1621, two years after the pilgrims arrived in North America. This meeting between the Pilgrims, Puritans, and Native Americans was first called the Great Feast of Plymouth (where the feasts took place). These feasts between these peoples continued on for years, until the colonies began to feud with their British rulers. Thanksgiving somewhat became a skeptical thing during the American Revolution because of certain church affiliations, but on November 26, 1789, George Washington proclaimed that Thanksgiving was a national holiday, and it has been ever since.

There are many Thanksgiving traditions celebrated throughout the world. Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is not just an American holiday. It is also celebrated in countries such as Canada, England, Australia, and many others. But, the American traditions for Thanksgiving are the most recognizable.

Thanksgiving 2

Thanksgiving this year is on November 23. People generally celebrate celebrate Thanksgiving with lots of food, such as turkey or pumpkin pie. (Photo gathered by Emily Hailstone)

The most recognizable tradition in the American Thanksgiving is the turkey. The turkey is used as a symbol for Thanksgiving. This tradition started when the people who first celebrated the holiday would hunt a turkey on the day of Thanksgiving, then cook it for everyone to eat that night. Of course, we do not hunt the turkey anymore, but it is still the main part of the Thanksgiving meal.

 

Another great Thanksgiving tradition is watching football. Since Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday, there is always a prime-time football game on that day. In fact, in the National Football League it is an honor to get to play on Thanksgiving Day.

Elementary schools having Thanksgiving plays is another tradition. The kids dress up as Native Americans or Pilgrims and preform in front of their parents and teachers. The play is usually based around the first Thanksgiving feast.

When asking some people around Woodstock High School what their favorite thing about Thanksgiving was, I got some pretty colorful responses. Cach Mason Wren said his favorite thing was,” Eating till I pass out.” When I asked sophomore Andrew Bartolero the same question he said,” My favorite part of Thanksgiving is getting to hang out with my family and eat a bunch of food.”

Thanksgiving could be considered the most prosperous holiday in America’s history, everyone be sure to be thankful over break!

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