Thanksgiving celebration- history and tradition

We all love this tradition, even though it’s an American tradition nowadays. I grow up in Europe but I’ve grown in the spirit of giving back and being thankful. Searching for the original story about this celebration, I have found some interesting information that I would love to share with you, my dear readers.

The story begins in 1621 when Wampanoag Native Americans and the Plymouth colonist shared an autumn harvest feast. But before 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln decides that this celebration will be in November, this day was celebrated by individual states and colonies.

The story starts in 1620 when the Mayflower ship with 120 passengers lost the direction from the Hudson River and landed far north, near Cape Cod and they began to build a village in Plymouth. Those who remained on the ship during the first brutal winter suffered from scurvy exposure and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the ship crew lived to see their first spring in New England.

They received a visit from an Abenaki Native American, greeting them in English. Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe, sold as a slave, taught the pilgrims how to extract sap from maple trees, cultivate corn, avoid poisonous plants and catch fish in the rivers. The same Squanto helped to establish an alliance with the Wampanoag. Their first successful harvest was in 1621. Celebrating this success there were invited colony’s Native American allies, joining them also Wampanoag chief Massasoit. The celebration organized by Governor William Bradford was the first Thanksgiving in history.

Photo source: Pinterest

I may not know what was their menu but I can presume that has changed over time. New York was the first one to officially adopted Thanksgiving in 1817, as a national holiday.
In 1863 Abraham Lincoln decided that the last Thursday in November to be the official day of this celebration. He guided all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.”

In 1939, the date was set in stone by President Franklin D Roosevelt and in 1941 was approved by Congress. Thanksgiving is also celebrated in Grenada, the Philippines, Canada, Saint Lucia, Liberia, and the Netherlands. Why turkey on Thanksgiving day? According to Aljazeera, quote: ” Eating turkey for Thanksgiving in the US precedes Lincoln’s nationalization of the holiday in 1863. In the 19th century, founding father Alexander Hamilton proclaimed that no ‘Citizen of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day. “

Photo source: Pinterest

I am living in Finland and it’s my first year here. So I don’t know if they have something like this as their tradition but I know that my friends, all around the world, are celebrating this event with their families and their loved ones.

I hope you will enjoy the article and I wait for your suggestions in the comments below. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sources: &


5 responses to “Thanksgiving celebration- history and tradition”

  1. Your article made me hungry, dreaming of a Thanksgiving feast. For several years I have spent Thanksgiving with a friend in Paris and on two occasions we had a traditional meal, one being more delicious than the first. I miss sharing a part of my culture with this friend but your article is haring my culture with the world. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Thanksgiving celebration- history and tradition This article tells that “The celebration organized by Governor William Bradford was the first Thanksgiving in history.” but forgets that at the European continent there were lots of people who took a day to celebrate at the end of the Summer, after the harvest, and took that day free to spend more time around God, by special prayers and moments of saying thanks to God for all what He had provided. Already in the 12th century and more from the 16 th century onwards feasts of Thanksgiving were presented in many European nations. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for your comments. If you have any ideas for articles that you wanna read, just leave the subject in the comments.


  4. Good info and writing! Especially the food talk 😅

    Liked by 1 person

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