Thanksgiving (United States)
|The True Story of the First Thanksgiving, American Experience, PBS, November 24, 2015|
Half of the Pilgrims died during their first winter in North America. They were cold and did not have enough food. The following year, though, the Native Americans, who were from the Wampanoag tribe, helped them grow crops. At harvest time in the autumn of 1621 they were very thankful that they had a good crop of food to eat during the coming winter. They thanked God and the Native Americans for teaching them how to grow the local foods.
They invited three of the Wampanoags who had helped them to their feast. They were Squanto, Samoset, and Chief Massasoit. The Wampanoags brought their families. This was over 90 people. There were so many people that the Pilgrims did not have enough food to make the meal, so the Wampanoags brought along their own food for the feast.
The Wampanoags brought turkey, duck, fish, deer, berries, squash, and cornbread. They also brought vegetables that they had farmed and shown the Pilgrims how to care for.
However, there is some disagreement over which event was the first Thanksgiving with claims that Virginia had the first celebrations.
In the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday is a four-day holiday over a weekend, starting on Thanksgiving Thursday and ending on Sunday. Families and friends usually eat a special meal together (usually with a turkey as the main dish). This meal also usually includes mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, several casseroles, and stuffing. The food eaten today for Thanksgiving is very different from the food that was eaten at the First Thanksgiving in 1621. A traditional food is turkey.
Thanksgiving is not looked upon positively by some who use the day for mourning to take into account the genocide and conquest of Native Americans by colonists although not all indigenous people are entirely negative on Thanksgiving. The holiday is also looked upon negatively by some vegetarians for promoting the eating of turkeys although many vegetarians and vegans eat plant-based alternatives for Thanksgiving.