The “first” Thanksgiving

A legendary Thanksgiving celebration was held in 1621. The terrible winter of the previous year had been difficult for the Pilgrims.Many of the Pilgrims had died because of the illness and lack of shelter. The Thanksgiving celebration  was held after the Pilgrims  had their first harvest-after they had gathered their crops.

The writings of the Pilgrims  tell us that about 140 people attended the three-day celebration. Ninety of the people were Wampanoag men. About 50 people were Pilgrims . Only four the Pilgrims  at the party were women. The feast was held  outside because the Pilgrims  did not have a building large enough to hold so many people.

The Pilgrims were thankful for the harvest and for the help of the Wampanoag in teaching them to grow crops in America. Without their help, the Pilgrims would have had litte to eat. The menu for the first Thanksgiving included venison, or deer meat, and fowl, which included ducks, geese and turkeys. Sea bass, cod fish cormeal, fruits and vegetables were also served.

Games were played and singing and dancing were also part of the celebration. Praises were given to God for the harvest and for the Pilgrims  that survived the harsh winter.

Thanksgiving in America is now celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Families prepare a meal similar to the meal prepared by the Pilgrims  and Wampanoag 400 years ago. It is a time for counting the blessings we have receied during the year and for spending time with family and friends.