At Raising A Legacy, we work hard to provide correct and factual information. Our goal is to promote cultural awareness and dispel negative stereotypes and misconceptions of other cultures. That is why although it is important to be aware of Thanksgiving and why it is celebrated, we choose to focus on Native American Heritage Month instead. We also think it is useful to include some literature on Thanksgiving to reeducate the meaning and history behind it.
When is it celebrated?
The fourth Thursday of November.
Who celebrates it?
Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States. There are other countries that celebrated their own versions of Thanksgiving.
Where does it originate from?
Thanksgiving is the commemoration of a meal of thanks between the Wampanoag Native American tribe and the Pilgrims that happened in present day Massachusetts in 1621.
How is it celebrated?
- Gathering with family for dinner
- Eating turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and pie
- Watching football has started to become associated with the holiday
Symbols: Pilgrims, Native Americans, turkey
Common misconceptions about its history and origin:
- The Pilgrims left England to find religious freedom and found this in Holland. They chose to come to America after living in Holland because they wanted to maintain their English identity.
- The Pilgrims did not call themselves “pilgrims,” nor did they dress in all black with buckles. In addition, the Native Americans dressed weather appropriate and did not wear loincloths.
- Celebrations of good harvest were a common practice, and there is no indication that this was the “first Thanksgiving,” nor that it was something celebrated every year after.
- The Native Americans were not originally invited. The Native Americans came to the event most likely after hearing noise from the festivities and then were invited to stay. They outnumbered the Pilgrims and ended up bringing the majority of the food. Also, there is evidence that suggests women were not invited either.
- Sugar and flour were not available at the time so there would not have been any pie or desserts served. In addition, they most likely had duck or goose to eat instead of turkey.