Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated in some countries, mainly in the United States and Canada. It represents a day of togetherness for the family gathered around a table sharing food, which consists mostly of a turkey and numerous accessories.
The origin of Thanksgiving Day
For them it is as important as the Christmas party. Its origin dates back to 1621, which was the first day it was celebrated. The first European settlers gathered around a huge table to celebrate a good harvest.
Although they did not do it alone, they invited a tribe of Native Americans thanks to whom the harvest was so abundant. This happened in Plymouth, United States, and the invited tribe was the Wampanoag. There, according to historians, the myth of Thanksgiving Day began.
According to tradition, which was passed down orally from generation to generation, the settlers came from a year poor in food and plagued by disease. It was at these times that the natives of the Wampanoag tribe shared their agricultural knowledge with the settlers. The result of this intercultural cooperation was an abundant harvest. To thank the help, the colonists organized a feast.
Thanksgiving Day had no fixed date on the calendar. Three centuries after that first celebration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared it a holiday as Thanksgiving Day in 1941. Since then it has been celebrated on the last Thursday of each November.
However, the feeling of the Wampanoag towards the settlers was one of mourning, for the occupation of their lands. The natives did not voluntarily give their lands to the natives or pilgrims, as they were called.
A fact that is tried to be omitted from history
According to David Silverman, author of a book on the subject, the Wampanoag helped the settlers as a strategy for their leader to protect themselves from another tribe, the Narragansett. The Wampanoag suffered for half a century from the exploitation of their lands, colonial expansion, and the diseases that these spread to them.
The accumulated tension ended up giving rise to King Philip’s War, where the Wampanoag were practically exterminated.
The history of Thanksgiving generally omits this extermination after the first feast where those honored were attended. A way of telling history, including the indigenous natives as part of it, without mentioning the genocide that gave supremacy to the settlers.
However, that feast had relevance in history thanks to a publication by the Reverend Alexander Young in which he said that it was the first Thanksgiving in history. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday to promote the union of the nation.