Alton Webteam: November 2016
Just like we celebrate Harvest at the end of September or beginning of Oct, the Canadians celebrate 'Thanksgiving' on the first Monday in October.
The Americans have to be different and celebrate Thanks Giving on the last Thursday in November. This could be because their 'Thanksgiving' has a different history behind it.
According to Wikipedia: The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621 This feast lasted three days, and as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow. It was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings" days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.
Today, the poor are often provided with food at Thanksgiving time. Most communities have annual food drives that collect non-perishable packaged and canned foods, and corporations sponsor charitable distributions of staple foods and Thanksgiving dinners. The Salvation Army enlists volunteers to serve Thanksgiving dinners to hundreds of people in different locales. Additionally, pegged to be five days after Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday, a celebration of charitable giving.
In the United States, certain kinds of food are traditionally served at Thanksgiving meals. Firstly, baked or roasted turkey is usually the featured item on any Thanksgiving feast table (so much so that Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as "Turkey Day"). Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, various fall vegetables, squash, and pumpkin pie are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner.
What Wikipedia doesn't tell us is how this is now linked to the American National Football League games and is followed by Black Friday. A far cry from what the original Pilgrims Father, who for the most part held Calvinist religious beliefs similar to those of the Puritans believed. Also, the Pilgrims firmly believed that their congregations needed to be separate from the Church of England and the 'State'. This belief eventually led to them leaving England, and as they say the rest is history.
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