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The Orange & Green

What is Thanksgiving?

You know what your own traditions are on Thanksgiving, but do you KNOW about Thanksgiving? 


Thanksgiving day is an annual holiday in the US and Canada that celebrates the harvest and other blessings in the past years. According to information provided by The History Channel, Thanksgiving can be traced to the 17th century: “In 1621, the Plymouth colonists from England and the Native American Wampanoag people shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.” For more than 2 centuries Thanksgiving was celebrated by individual colonies and states. It was until Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863 during the midst of the civil war. The holiday isn’t without problems. Many of the Americans and Native Americans believe Thanksgiving is to hide the true history between the European settlers and native Americans. When we celebrate Thanksgiving, we celebrate the act of thanks that is reminiscent of the peace-offering between the colonists and Native Americans at the time of colonization. While the peace was momentary, it has become a significant historical moment of coming together and breaking bread. During the American Revolution in 1789, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving announced by the government of the US called upon Americans to show their gratitude. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday to bring the country together during the civil war. 

According to The History Channel “In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition.” Then the song ” Mary Had A Little Lamb” came along in 1827 from the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale author. For 36 years she had published multiple and multiple nurseries and sent them all off to the governors, senators, presidents and other politicians earning the nickname “Mother Of Thanksgiving.” Abraham Lincoln finally took notice of her request in 1863, at the height of the civil war a public announcer asking  all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become orphans, mourners or sufferers in the strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation. Abraham Lincoln scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November and it was celebrated until 1934 when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

Everyone in many different cultures all celebrate Thanksgiving in different cultural ways. For example, Native Americans have different tribes and they celebrate differently. Most Native Americans gather their families and share a meal while others share stories about the old history of Native Americans. In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 2nd Monday of October.  Some cultural traditions everyone has are breaking a wishbone for good luck which dates back to ancient Italy where people would pull apart chicken clavicles for luck and they even think keeping the bone gives them access to powers. Sharing what you’re most thankful for is also a great idea just the idea of giving thanks to friends and family. If you’re up to hearing trash talk and seeing everyone get rowdy and loud turn the night into a game night with friends/family. To conclude this article, Thanksgiving is a holiday that is shared through many cultures and is a great holiday to spend time with friends and family. We hope you enjoyed yours!

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About the Contributor
Nevaeh Thompson, Reporter
Nevaeh Thompson is a junior, first-year member of The Orange and Green Staff. Nevaeh enjoys playing basketball and softball for Porterville High School and loves listening to music.

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