Thanksgiving As We Know It… Or Not

Thanksgiving As We Know It... Or Not

Isabel Valencia

As we know it today Thanksgiving is the day before Black Friday where we hangout with family and eat until our bellies are about to explode. As the world evolves and becomes more modern, the teaching of the meaning and origin of Thanksgiving has faded. 

Although school still teaches U.S. history the amount of depth that is put into the origin of Thanksgiving is minimal. 

Thanksgiving was created in 1621. This is when the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Native Americans shared what is known as an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged as Thanksgiving in today’s world. This celebration is for people to reflect on the past year and also show what you are thankful for within the past year.

We can of course see some similarities when it comes to the modern day and older Thanksgiving traditions.

For example, the food that is eaten on this day is very much the same for both time periods. People usually eat Turkey and veggies along with some sort of starch filled food. It is to be believed that the first Thanksgiving meal was served with seafood and venison as well. 

The reason that all of modern time Thanksgiving is thought to be about food is because that was one of the main parts of the start of this annual celebration all across the United States back in 1621. Now that the world is more developed and we have grocery stores the meaning of Thanksgiving is lost. 

In this day in age we have to think about what we are thankful for during the entire past year. This kind of takes away from the idea of just being thankful for what we have in the present. Some of the things that we say around the dinner table when we talk about the things we are thankful for and what were the highlights of someone’s year, you hear a lot of ‘food and family and health’, which are completely valid things to be thankful for but those are easy to think about. Being thankful for something that took time to make or get is what was celebrated in 1621 when Thanksgiving became a thing. 

Living in a society where you are blinded by the black and white scenarios can be difficult. That’s why the knowledge that we have on Thanksgiving seems so peaceful and wholesome. When people learn the real history of Thanksgiving they tend to turn their heads away because the truth can be ugly and gruesome. 

Thanksgiving did bring two very different types of people together. The Plymouth (Pilgrims) are painted as saviors to the Wampanoag Native Americans but before this day they were the deadliest thing to the Natives that lived on the same land as the Plymouth. 

The Plymouth brought great illness to the Native American tribes and ended up killing many tribes off because they contracted the same illnesses that the Plymouth people had.

Out of any respect the Plymouth helped the Wampanoag people through the winter because they were struggling to survive after the great devastation that was brought upon their tribes. 

The first supper that was thought to be had between the Wampanoag people and the Plymouth settlers was the very first Thanksgiving harvest festival. 

Not many people learn the truth and meaning behind the origin of Thanksgiving day but that still does not mean that the thought of the day is any different. This day is still meant to be celebrated with those that you are thankful for and love and that you would care to be around. Also known as your family and friends. Just don’t forget that our history as a nation is all rainbows and butterflies. There is always a negative that makes a “positive”.