Thanksgiving is that cool holiday where you get to miss school, stuff your face with food, watch football all day and start shopping for Christmas. But is that really what the holiday is about?
American Thanksgiving - The Very First Celebration
Let's go back to the year 1620. A bunch of pilgrims had just come over from England because they were bullied for their strict religious beliefs there and they thought America would give them a chance to start a new life. They landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts on their ship, the Mayflower. Their first year in America really sucked - they couldn't find food and nearly half of the 102 people who first came over were dead by the next1 fall.
The pilgrims hoped to start a new life in America
However, in 1621 things started to look up. The pilgrims had a huge harvest with a ton of food. To celebrate, they held a huge feast and invited a group of Native Americans who had helped them get through that first difficult year. It was quite the party - three days of pigging out on venison, various birds, fish, fruit and vegetables. That was the first Thanksgiving.
Turkey is a mainstay of modern Thanksgiving dinners
American Thanksgiving - When Is It?
It's not clear what the exact date of the first Thanksgiving was but it was sometime between October and December of 1621. For a long time Thanksgiving was celebrated whenever peeps felt like it. Then - after the American Revolution - George Washington declared Novemeber 26th Thanksgiving. In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the date to the fourth Thursday in November, which is when we celebrate it now. In 2013, Thanksgiving is on November 28th.
Thanksgiving is also a celebration of the harvest season
American Thanksgiving - The First Menu
Pumpkin pie wasn't served at the first Thanksgiving. There was no flour in New England at that time. Potatoes didn't make it onto the table either. Many Europeans had never heard of potatoes as they were only native to South America. They did have lobster, which was plentiful off the shores of Massachusetts.
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What do you eat for Thanksgiving? Let us know!