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Thanksgiving Day 2009 : Thanksgiving Origin


Thanksgiving Origin




There are some very interesting facts about the origin of Thanksgiving in America. It is believed that the celebration of Thanksgiving in America was probably originated from the harvest-home ceremonies. These harvest-home ceremonies were originally held in England. During such ceremonies certain days were reserved to thank God for blessing the people with plentiful crops and bountiful harvest.

Therefore later it became a tradition, according to which, even in modern times this holiday takes place late in the Fall Season, after the crops have been collected. Although the form of celebrations of thanksgiving has changed a lot with the time but traditionally still it is the time for serious religious contemplation, church services and prayers. These days the Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States as a family affair, complete with sumptuous dinners and happy reunions and get together.

However the fact about the origin of the Thanksgiving is that the first observance of Thanksgiving in America was entirely religious in nature and it did not involve any form of feasting. It was on 4th December 1619 when a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Plantation on the James River...a location, which is now known as Charles City, Virginia. The charter of this group required that the day of their arrival to that place, be observed as a Day of Thanksgiving to God.

On the other hand the first Thanksgiving in the New England area was celebrated in 1621, a little less than a year after the Plymouth colonists had settled in America. The Plymouth colonists were popularly known as the Pilgrims. It is believed that they had set sail from Plymouth, England on a ship called the 'Mayflower' on September 6, 1620.

Actually the pilgrims were fortune hunters, bound for the resourceful 'New World'. And the Mayflower was a small ship crowded with men, women and children, besides the sailors on board. Aboard did passengers comprise the 'separatists', who called themselves the 'Saints', and others, whom the separatists called the 'Strangers'.

Mayflower Compact

When finally the land was sighted in November following 66 days of a lethal voyage, a meeting was held and an agreement of truce was worked out between the 'Saints' and the 'Strangers'. It was called the 'Mayflower Compact'. This agreement ensured the equality between the members of these two groups. And then the two groups merged together to be recognized as the 'Pilgrims' instead of the 'Saints' and the 'Strangers'. And they elected John Carver as their first governor.