Have you ever celebrated Thanksgiving? Do you have any idea where this tradition comes from? Even though the celebration has changed throughout time, the essence of it remains to this day with the people in and around the United States. People wait all year long for this day to come around and gather with all their family members and celebrate together; being thankful for the received blessings.
Thanksgiving is a celebration that has almost 400 years of history. It all began when a group of English people known as ‘Pilgrims’ escaped from England so that they could create a colony based on their religious beliefs and live in freedom. They crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a boat named the Mayflower. They arrived in Massachusetts on December 11, 1620. When they arrived, a cold winter had come along and the Pilgrims had no resources and were without any knowledge of how to survive in this new land. As a result, they started to die.
The Wampanoag Indians saw what was happening to the Pilgrims, and even though the Pilgrims had been nasty and had harassed the whole tribe, the Indians decided to help the Pilgrims by following their own belief of helping others no matter what. Squanto was the Wampanoag Indian in charge of going to where the Pilgrims had settled and offered them help by teaching them how and where to fish, where to hunt, what vegetables and fruits were the best to be grown in the area and by helping them build good resistant shelters for the cold and hot weathers around a year. Basically, the Indians taught the Pilgrims how to survive. When spring arrived, the Pilgrims had learnt many things and were just about to get prepared for the harvesting season. It was in the autumn of 1621 when the pilgrims harvested their own food. They were so thankful for their blessings that they invited the Wampanoag tribe to a gigantic dinner. During dinner, the Pilgrims thanked the Wampanoag for helping them in tough times and they also thanked God for the blessings they had received. They were now ready to settle forever in a new land. In 1863, Thanksgiving Day was officially proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln and it was said that it would be considered a holiday and it would be celebrated the last Thursday of November. In 1941, it was officially proclaimed by the United States Congress.
I personally didn’t know alot about the Thanksgiving celebration but after researching it, I have learned 3 important things:
1st: England invaded the USA and killed many of the tribes from there but the Wampanoag helped them anyway. How many times have we got mad with a friend and we don’t want to forgive him or her? For me, it is incredible that if the Wampanoag forgave the English, we could forgive the people that have hurt us in the past.
Secondly, Help everyone!; it doesn’t matter who they are or where they come from because, in the end, we are all brothers and we shouldn’t have to treat someone differently because they are different from us.
Lastly, we need to thank God! Without God’s help the Pilgrims would have died in the winter but I believe God sent the Wampanoag Indians to help them and he is always helping us in general even through the tough times and we don’t think he is around..
I would like to invite you to wake up every morning and sit on your bed and say ‘Thank you God because I woke up this morning’ and when you are going to sleep say ‘ Thank you God for all the opportunities and all the good things you gave me today.’ Try these two things and I can assure you, you will live happier.
By: Lucia Güémez Pérez 1ºA