Happy Thanksgiving from Zen! We wish you a wonderful day full of family, friends and great food! Don’t forget to give thanks for everything that you have and remember what the custom truly means!
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a Fall harvest celebration and feast after their first successful corn harvest. It was a 3-day holiday to celebrate their hard-fought accomplishment.
Here’s a short history of how Thanksgiving came to be.
Remembering the Pilgrim’s 1st Happy Thanksgiving Celebration!
In September of 1620, a meager ship named the Mayflower departed from Plymouth, England, transporting 102 passengers. After a dangerous and long crossing of 66 days, they finally found land in what we know as Cape Cod. However, this was considerably north of their expected destination which was the mouth at the Hudson River. A month later, they sailed across the Hudson Bay and selected an area to finally settle. However, it was wintertime when the pilgrims arrived, and they could not begin to build a colony because of the treacherous weather. Therefore, they spent the winter on the Mayflower.
The pilgrims were low on supplies and were in poor health. They suffered from scurvy and other contagious diseases. A lot of the original pilgrims did not survive the first winter. When spring arrived, the surviving pilgrims were able to establish the village of Plymouth.
In the spring, an Abenaki Indian greeted the colonists, speaking English. He returned a few days later with another Native American named Squanto, who was from the Pawtuxet tribe. Squanto spoke English, as well, as an English sea captain had kidnaped him and he later made his way back home. Squanto showed the pilgrims how to grow corn, to fish in the rivers, to extract sap from trees, and about the local plant life.
Furthermore, Squanto helped the settlers form an alignment with the Wampanoag tribe who lived nearby. This alliance would endure for over 50 years and tragically continues as one of the sole examples of peace between the Native Americans and European colonists.
~ The 1st Harvest ~
In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest was declared successful, Governor William Bradford planned a celebratory festival and feast. The pilgrims welcomed their Native American allies, the Wampanoag Indians. This feast was the 1st Thanksgiving, though it was not termed that for many years later.
Pilgrims held their 2nd Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a prolonged drought that had threatened the year’s harvest. Thanksgiving became, even more, a celebration of “thanks” and became a yearly tradition. The annual celebration became commonplace in other New England settlements, as well, and has spread and endured to become what we now call, Thanksgiving Day.
Zen Sports Balm wishes you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!