Thanksgiving – Celebrating the harvest

Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in 1941, has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States. Historically, Thanksgiving began as a tradition of celebrating the harvest of the year.[28]

Thanksgiving in North America had originated from a mix of European and Native traditions.[1] Typically in Europe, festivals were held before and after the harvest cycles to give thanks for a good harvest, and to rejoice together after much hard work with the rest of the community.[1] At the time, Native Americans had also celebrated the end of a harvest season.[1] When Europeans first arrived to the Americas, they brought with them their own harvest festival traditions from Europe, celebrating their safe voyage, peace and good harvest.[1] Though the origins of the holiday in both Canada and the United States are similar, Americans do not typically celebrate the contributions made in Newfoundland, while Canadians do not celebrate the contributions made in Plymouth, Massachusetts.[2]

Oven roasted turkey

Most of the U.S. aspects of Thanksgiving (such as the turkey or what were called Guineafowls originating from Madagascar}, were incorporated when United Empire Loyalists began to flee from the United States during the American Revolution and settled in Canada.[5]

In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. There is also evidence for an earlier harvest celebration on the continent by Spanish explorers in Florida during 1565, as well as thanksgiving feasts in the Virginia Colony. The initial thanksgiving observance at Virginia in 1619 was prompted by the colonists’ leaders on the anniversary of the settlement.[7] The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. In later years, the tradition was continued by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford who planned a thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623.[8][9][10] While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.[11]

According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden.[12]

Contending origins

The claim of where the first Thanksgiving was held in the United States, and even the Americas has often been a subject of debate. Author and teacher Robyn Gioia and Michael Gannon, of the University of Florida, have argued that the earliest attested “Thanksgiving” celebration in what is now the United States was celebrated by the Spanish on September 8, 1565, in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida.[13][14]

Similarly, many historians point out that the first thanksgiving celebration in the United States was held in Virginia, and not in Plymouth. Thanksgiving services were routine in what was to become the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607.[15] A day of Thanksgiving was codified in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia in 1619.[16]

Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada (October), Liberia (early November), Norfolk Island (late November and the United States (fourth Thursday in November). In 2012, Puerto Rico will celebrate on the same date – November 22.

Excerpt from wikipedia

Posted by villager4ever

39 thoughts on “Thanksgiving – Celebrating the harvest

  1. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the harvest! In my home country, I remember that after the harvest of rice, the major crop, families gather by sharing food at the table. Each family brings a dish, a basket of fruit while the host family prepare the main entree such as roast pig that normally get started from five o’clock in the morning, cooked and turned slowly. The men are assigned to roast the pig. The women prepare the dessert, mostly rice cake, and there was an abundance of fruits and vegetables.

    At the start of the meal, the head of the family cuts the roast pig, and the sharing of the food begins with a prayer of thanks for the good harvest. This celebration was in March when the crops are harvested and the land is prepared for the next planting season. This was how I remembered.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all the villagers here and everywhere.

  2. In Minnesota, the timing of the harvest is ruled by the weather and could take two months before the fields were bare. This year my mother said the weather cooperated and the fields are empty. She was feeling sorry for the deer as they face the hunting season with no cover but it allows farm families to enjoy the holidays without worrying about the crops.

    Safe travels and good food for all villagers.

    Thank you for the thread Normita,

  3. The occupiers will dominate the media. I hope the occupiers find the good sense to celebrate the freedom they have by sharing a feast of goodwill.

    • Yea, all I saw today were pictures of them eating Thanksgiving meals donated to them, free. None of them ever pay for anything.

  4. Good Night all,

    I stopped in to say Happy Thanksgiving to my Village family!!
    I hope you all have a great day with family and friends!!
    I think i will have alot over tomorrow, my sister and a couple of others wont because they have the flu very bad.
    We are hopeing that kids Mom shows up but we aren’t holding our breath which is very sad, i called and said i hope your coming tomorrow and she said why whats there and i told her Duh your kids and the rest of your family, so please keep her in your prayers.
    I just dont know how she can go without seeing these sweet babies , i cant go more than one day!

    I Love each and everyone of you, sweet dreams

    Teri and The Village kids

    • Teri and The Village Kids, enjoy your Thanksgiving. You are meant to be together – to keep those kids safe in your care. Those kids are growing up and they love you endlessly. Happy Thanksgiving.


  5. As we celebrate the harvest of our friendship, I am dedicating this song to you by the great Nat King Cole. He sings about a house that is filled with love, humble and generous. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE.

    ♫ A House With Love In It ♫
    A house with love in it is rich indeed,
    Although there are a thousand things that house may need
    The carpet may be old, the rooms so plain and bare
    And yet it’s beautiful, somehow the love is living there.
    A house with love in it just seems to bloom,
    As though the month of May were filling every room
    So darling through the years, with all my heart I’ll pray
    A house with love in it is very safe.
    So darling through the years, with all my heart I’ll pray
    A house with love in it is where we’ll stay.

  6. Just stopped by for a drive-by Happy Thanksgiving message to all our dear villagers. Busy right now, cooking, people on their way.

    Blessed are we all, are we not? HAPPY THANKSGIVING

  7. Robin here, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Have a wonderful holiday! It is warm enough here to finish my leaves and prep for the unwanted winter the area is expecting. Possibly the most snow this winter that we have ever had. Gobble gobble.

    • Hi Robin, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! It’s so wonderful to see you. We had a great time, lots of good food and leftovers. We’re happy everyone was willing to take them.

      Say hi to Zoe and her mom.

  8. We’ve spent the last two days near the Skyline Drive and it was good to relax andenjoy beautiful rural Virginia. I was dohappy that the inn didn’t play one Christmas song nor had any Christmas decorations on display this morning

    So glad to see village alumnae drop by enjoy your weekend. Yesterday we were at the Luray caverans and it was packed with foreign nationals enjoying the American holiday

    • Taylor – I have been to the Luray caverns. It is a nice memory. Foreign nationals? Probably they are the only ones with money to travel abroad.

      I have heard that the local Outlet Mall we have here, the same kind as the big one they have in Lessburg, with all the brand names, is full of foreign for good deals. My dentist was telling me that they bus them in. She said she hardly heard English spoken. Same is true of the major casinos around San Diego. There they are predominately Chinese. All the rooms are booked, and the casino is full of Chinese gambling, speaking Chinese. Even so that the restaurants at the casinos are catering to Chinese tastes. I guess there is a tourist route they take them on, seeing all of California, and on their way to the airport, either LAX or San Diego International, they stop at the casinos to gamble or the malls to shop.

      It used to be that way with the Japanese about 15 years ago. I remember going to Yosemite, and seeing nothing but Japanese tourists at all the attractions. They were kind of cute, with the young boys and girls dressed alike in their matching skirts and white blouses. Now it is the Chinese.

      • When we explored Union Square in San Francisco earlier this week, we bumped into non-English speaking tourists, very European looking. Yes, in the 80’s and early 90’s, Japanese ruled the tourist industry.

  9. Surely you’ve heard about the Black Friday egregious happenings in many shopping malls around the country. Here in No. California in the town of San Leandro there was a robbery that turned into shooting in the parking of a Walmart. The police shutdown the parking lot for hours and customers were unable to get in to shop. What’s up with that? This and similar happenings such as elbowing, pepper praying, etc. are driven by deals from corporate greed. I thought Thanksgiving was for family gatherings, yet people have decided to skip it by lining up for the deals.

  10. I was never into Black Friday and there is nothing I need that I’m willing to stand in line to get. The Friday after Thanksgiving is not a holiday for the federal government so I worked several years.

    Consumerism is what got us into trouble and everyone needs some self-control.

  11. Yes, Normita I have been reading about all that garbage. The pepper spray incident was here, at Porter Ranch, not 15 miles from my house, in a fairly upscale neighborhood. They were after the XBox deals, can you imagine? And did you see the one video where they practically killed themselves over $2 waffle toasters? One big woman was pushing everybody out of the way, and surfaced with 4 boxes. It was practically unbelievable. There were brawls in line before the stores opened. Also, other people made it a festive event, and deep fried turkeys in the parking lot. Just totally wild, wild stuff.

    Is this unusual, or have I been missing something all these years? I too have never been into Black Friday. I was like Taylor, usually I worked, or when I remember going with my girlfriend in the 80’s, it was crowded, but never like this, where people stomp on each other to get to the deals. It is like the world is just going berzerk.

  12. Oh, I have been getting on the average 10 emails a day from the local democrats who are distraught over the potential closing of Occupy LA. Supposedly yesterday they had police helicopters circling the area, and DHS surveillance cars driving around. It looks like they have been told that by Monday all this will be over, no overnight camping. Tye LA TImes reporters were told that if they were allowed to attend the “negotation” talks, but if they leaked the story prematurely, the negotiations would stop, and guess what, they leaked the story, so it looks like the negotiations are dead, and throwing them out is next.

    Well, they are planning to show up in full force over the weekend. The emails sound desperate, begging people to show up and show their “solidarity”. That is the new word, it seems. All their emails are signed “in solidarity”.

  13. We went to the mall about mid-morning to pick up gift cards for Bob’s kids and the parking lot was half full so it was a breeze. I told Bob people were still at Best Buy, Walmart and Target fighting for the deals and getting pepper-sprayed. LOL Then by the time we left, the place was so crowded.

  14. One of the articles I saw today was titled “Don’t Blame Obama for This Mess”. I blame Obama for playing the blame game during his entire presidency and for his total lack of true leadership and passion. He rarely accepts responsibillity. His record of voting “present” was very revealing.

    Have a beautiful Sunday.

  15. In tonight’s 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley featured the homelessness in Florida. It was so sad and frustrating to see these families living in their trucks, in warehouses, and in their cars. Their plight started in the recession at the end of 2007. This administration gave people so much promise but look at what they are going through. Surely if he cuts back on his use of the jet fuel on Air Force One, the savings can be designated to the homeless. Don’t mean to be too simplistic, but this is reality check – make him stop and look around at the big government waste that could be used for humanitary purposes.

  16. I spent half of Sunday with my friend at the nearby shopping mall. Didn’t buy much – just a sweater for each of us that we do traditionally. Same style, same fabric, same price, different color. 🙂

  17. Good morning villagers. Busy time of the year but we are lucy tis year because Thanksgiving fell earlier in November than many years.

    Because we will be packing for the new house, we are minimizing gift giving this year. My sister and her family are coming for their granddaughter’s baptism so it will be jam-paced week. Our daughter may host Christmas Eve celebrations.

    We are having great California weather today and everyone is out finding some lawn job to do. Enjoy your day.

    • Taylor, glad you’re settling down in a new place, even if the timing complicates the Christmas holidays. It should be fun. Will you still be able to put up your decorations in your new place?

  18. A Georgia woman says that she and Herman Cain engaged in a 13-year affair, but the GOP presidential candidate issued a preemptive denial on Monday.

    In an interview with the local Fox affiliate in Atlanta, Ginger White said she met Cain in the 1990s and he invited her to meet him in Palm Springs. From there, she said, the affair took off and he flew her to places where he gave speeches and lavished her with gifts.

    This is way too bad. What made him think that this will not come out?

  19. The Post had this article about virtual schools. I’m gradually appreciating their value and place. What do you think? My opinion was altered after participating in this blog and understanding the strength of virtual friendships and discussion.

    After three gorgeous days we are having showers today. My neighbor is having her roof reshingled and the workmen had just stepped foot on ther roof when the sky opened up. Ten minutes later the rain had stopped.

    Have a good day.

  20. Good Morning, Villagers….fog bog gives way to partly cloudy skies, highs about 62 degrees!

    Have had my hands full with computer problems….hopefully, we’ve seen the end to them and then I had some bug that captured me…was down and out for Thanksgiving. A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all our Villagers…good to see that CT Key, Robin and our MJ dropped by with Thanksgiving wishes…I sure would like to know what each of you are up to??

    Thrilled to hear that Barney Frank won’t run for again…I hold him directly responsible for the cratering of our economy…he couldn’t see past his ideology to put a halt to what he was doing!

    I’ll be catching up for the next couple days…Enjoy your day…

  21. Hi Everybody. Been busy with Thanksgiving and UCLA, today is my first day to breathe. Sigh.

    Karel – good to have you back online, missed you and your weather reports. Normita – I have not been shopping yet, perhaps next week..

    Taylor the question about virtual schools., funny you should ask. We had that identical discussin in my UCLA class last week. The class is what will we look like in 50 years, and the discussion of education came up, and we talked about virtual schools, etc as the way of the future. As you note, it is already happening. Virtual teachers, with automated assignments, and the kids together in a “computer room” so that they can interact with each other, or their designated “assistant”. to the lecture. It costs less money because you can put more kids in a classroom, and the teachers do not prepare the lesson plans. Better explanations of the materiel, from real experts, not just the local teacher. A lot of work can be done at home, with occassional meet ups somewhere for “team” assignments. There was a lot of concern about the “social” environment and the need for kids to interact. I personally am not so sure that would be a problem. Perhaps even the kids would interact more, more with their parents and their neighbors, rather than strangers at school. I think virtual schools are ineviatable, it is just a matter of time.

    My biggest concern this week is the European economy. Have you guys been reading the dire news? They are some of the worst projections I have read to date. If the European Union collapses, they are predicting massive riots, a severe depression in the U.S.., and shortages of a whole bunch of stuff. What have you guys read?

  22. Good Morning, Villagers…gray to start, partly to mostly sunny skies, expecting a windy afternoon, highs around 62 degrees!

    The stock market is off and running, over 400 points…this is a house of cards in my opinion…all the worlds banks can keep pouring money at the EU and it’s not going to stave off what’s eventually going to happen. When they created the EU they built a Monetary Union without the necessary Political Union…right now, members of the EU are making decisions for their countries without the permission of their populations, disregarding their individual countries mandates and parliaments…this is like taxation without representation or even worse…they are totally disregarding the will of the majority of their constituents in some countries…doing whatever it takes to stave off the inevitable collapse of the Euro. It’s like one stimulus after another, one bailout after another…where does that lead…eventually someone has to pay. Right now the stronger EU countries are afraid they’re going to be stuck with the bill…especially Germany, which is damned if they do or damned if they don’t…they were hit last week with increased risk in their bonds…so now worldwide bond buyers are beginning to thing the strong countries are too risky to buy…where does that end?

    Obama says we’re not going to bail out the EU…then, he appears to be doing just that through the Fed and money we’ve funneled into the IMF, etc…it’s a shell game. If the EU is saved we’re in it up to our eyebrows…if it fails, we’re in it too. Why was their another stress test requested on American Banks…specifically to find out what their European exposure is. If the EU goes down, recession or possibly depression will hit America…can’t have that ahead of an election next year…so for political reasons, our government is fully motivated to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen…whether it’s good policy or not is irrelevant!!

    Imagine creating the dollar and forgetting to knit together the United States under the Constitution…like each state had it’s own people to account to, their own sovereignty, not accountable to the federal government in any way, their own languages, cultures, tradtions, etc…the only thing in common was the dollar, a common currency…that would be a ticking timebomb. Now look at the European Union…it’s a wonder they’ve lasted as long as they have…someone forgot a major part of the puzzle to its success in the long run.

    Sorry to be so long winded…Enjoy your day…

    • Karel – you assessment is so right on. I just heard that we will bailout the EU by exchanging Euros for Dollars. We get the Euros. But this amount will only hold them for two weeks. Then what? Dear God help us all…

  23. Hello Village Family,

    Alot going on with us please keep my uncle in your prayers we had to rush him to the hospital a couple of days ago and weve found out his had a stroke and now has no feeling in his arm, hand and no feeling in leg and is very heavy and overweight, so hes very depressed and my mom has had to stay at the hospital with him.

    But i wanted to come and tell Bob Happy Birthday to you and many more!!!!

    Have a good day all

    Much love


  24. Been busy here with life, holidays, and house selling ang buying. We have started to box, sort and throw but it is in the beginning stages. I stayed up last night and finished the family calendar through Kodak. I’ve done this for four years and this year they have a new program which allows you to customize each day with birthdays, pictures, etc so it took longer than I expected. I iordered the first three and will see how they look before I order for my family members.

    Karel, glad to see you back online and I love your assessment of the game of cards going on. I’m such a conservative at heart and then being a student of hiisory I just know that everything can go south so fast. But it cannot stop us from living a full and happy life if we keep our eyes on the ball.

    Mary, how did your Thanksgiving meal turn out? I agree that irtual schools and offices are here. It is only a matter of time.

    Teri, your uncle has major life style changes facing him. I hope he has the strength and motivtion to fight back. I have know many successful recoveries from strokes. Or prayers are with you.

  25. Taylor, Thankyou so much for the kind words. They told him the 1st 30 days are the most important, even if he cant feel anything or move his arms or leg to just think really hard about it and act like they are moving because it grows cells back in his brain to control that so we are really praying and working with trying to keep his spirits up!



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