It’s Thanksgiving! Yay! To some, it’s their favorite holiday of the year (and why wouldn’t it be given all the delicious food). However, though most of us are fairly familiar with the festivities of Thanksgiving, there are some misconceptions involved in this beloved holiday. Sadly, what we’re taught growing up doesn’t always match the full historical story. Here we explore 25 truths about Thanksgiving which are historically accurate and put more focus on the Native Americans involved in the iconic American tradition. We clear up myths, go more in depth into the Natives participation, and present some new facts you didn’t know before about the first American holiday of the season. Take a look at these 25 historically accurate and modern day Thanksgiving facts.
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Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday of October. It is traditionally dated to 1578 when explorer Martin Frobisher gave thanks to God for bringing most of his men successfully through their exploration for the Northwest Passage. Thanks for the harvest was not made at that time as they had not planted crops to harvest.
Six Thanksgiving Festivals
Local Native American tribes typically held 6 thanksgiving festivals: Maple Dance (maple tree and when it was warm enough to extract its syrup); Planting Feast (blessing of seeds); Strawberry Festival (for the season’s first fruits); Green Corn Festival (for the ripening corn); Harvest Festival (food they had grown); Mid-Winter Festival.
John Carver’s treaty with Massasoit and the Wampanoags was one of the most successful American treaties with Native Americans, lasting over fifty years.
The focus on food in many festivals at the time was due to the difficulty of foraging and scavenging for food. As many societies have begun mass producing food, the link to the land has diminished.
The first day of thanksgiving designated by the federal government was by George Washington in 1789. This day was for giving of thanks to a higher power rather than being tied to the Thanksgiving between Native Americans and Pilgrims.