Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone and to our military, have a very blessed day and thank you for risking your lives to protect all this that we have to be grateful for.
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, and has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well.
BUT, DID YOU KNOW?
The first official Thanksgiving is recognized as being held by the Pilgrims at a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts, prompted by a good harvest. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England.
Not everyone agrees on that point.
Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the “First Thanksgiving”, including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631.
Some will say that to see what the first Thanksgiving was like you have to go to: Texas. Texans claim the first Thanksgiving in America actually took place in little San Elizario, a community near El Paso, in 1598 — twenty-three years before the Pilgrims’ festival. For several years they have staged a reenactment of the event that culminated in the Thanksgiving celebration: the arrival of Spanish explorer Juan de Onate on the banks of the Rio Grande. De Onate is said to have held a big Thanksgiving festival after leading hundreds of settlers on a grueling 350-mile long trek across the Mexican desert.
Then again, you may want to go to Virginia.. At the Berkeley Plantation on the James River they claim the first Thanksgiving in America was held there on December 4th, 1619….two years before the Pilgrims’ festival….and every year since 1958 they have reenacted the event. In their view it’s not the Mayflower we should remember, it’s the Margaret, the little ship which brought 38 English settlers to the plantation in 1619. The story is that the settlers had been ordered by the London company that sponsored them to commemorate the ship’s arrival with an annual day of Thanksgiving. Hardly anybody outside Virginia has ever heard of this Thanksgiving, but in 1963 President Kennedy officially recognized the plantation’s claim.
The Thanksgiving holiday’s history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation but Catholics also had a role in the holiday in this country.
The Catholics have a real hero, Native-American Squanto, who might have started the first Thanksgiving.
Squanto, the beloved hero of Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock, was Catholic! Squanto had been enslaved by the English but he was freed by Spanish Franciscans. Squanto thus received baptism and became a Catholic. It is believed by some, that a baptized Catholic Native American who orchestrated what became known as Thanksgiving.
Listen to this amazing story of Thanksgiving.