Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving?

With historical origins in the background the Thanksgiving Day is observed in the northern countries of the continent of America, esp. Canada, as Harvesting Festival, now of secular descriptions, on the 4th Thursday of November.

From the onset of seventeenth century a coterie of people from England immigrated to Netherlands in pursuit of ecclesiastical schools of thought that espoused their faith. However, with the passage of time they began to realize that their descendents were adopting the life style of the host country, even the language. This realization was precursory to their belief that their culture and tradition is on the threshold of being hijacked. On top of all this, they surmised that their ideal was not achieved in letter and spirit. Consequently this segment of expatriates, the so called pilgrims, decided to move back to England and trace out their true identity in the formulation of a church as the unique exponent of their creed and faith.

Thanksgiving Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving?

These so called pilgrims, that were later branded “Separatists” departed from England in a vessel named “Mayflower” for the New World (shouldn’t be confused with the modern world, it is rather the now a days’ Americas) after having entered into a covenant with the London Company that they would provide edibles, furs and other articles unique to the territory in exchange for arrangements for settlement there. However, surprisingly enough, their ship anchored some hundred miles off Virginia, a place known as Cape Cod by Nov. 1620 on account of heavy winds and rain storms. The pilgrims had therefore to settle accordingly to the West of Cape Cod, Plymouth. Such a situation offered them a very marginal survival at this remote location as there was harsh weather going on which didn’t let them grow any foods and erect proper shelters. Resultantly a great majority died there.

An Indian, Samoset happened to see them accidentally in the year 1621. Obviously there were come communication barrier that were dissolved by the introduction of another Indian named Squanto who could communicate in English. It was with the blessings of that guy that the exponents of new faith were able to hunt and harvest by the end of October. The pilgrims would now celebrate the occasion with Squanto and a group of other Indian. This is how the festival takes its oft-quoted title, “Thanksgiving” — thus a religious orientation transforms into a purely secular connotation in America.

The harvest festival continued for some time whereupon in 1863 the president Abraham Lincoln declared it the “Thanksgiving Day” to be officially observed on the last Thursday of November while president Franklin, in November 1941, seconded the move in so far as to further announce the fourth Thursday in a re-defining way as the Thanksgiving Day for the American nation.

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