I realised that, despite considering myself quite an intelligent and worldy wise human being....I know absolutely bugger all about Thanksgiving, apart from the fact that you must eat turkey until you feel you might burst. So I thought I'd do a bit of research:
- Thanksgiving is a harvest festival. It's the traditional time of year to give thanks for the harvest and to express gratitude in general.
We used to have Harvest Festivals at school, I guess this would have been around the same time of year. If I remember correctly we all used to bring a food item in from home and put them into baskets to take around to the old peoples home. I bet they loved that...screaming brats running around lobbing tins of SPAM at them. A kindness they could well do without.
- The First Thanksgiving according to American folklore is believed to have been performed by the Plymouth Colony at the Plymouth Plantation in 1621. It was in order to give thanks to God for a successful harvest and for seeing the pilgrims through a harsh winter. The feast lasted for 3 days and fed 53 pilgrims and 90 indians.
- Although Thanksgiving has religious roots, it's now considered a secular festival....WIN!
I suppose this is similar to Easter, try sitting todays child down and talking about the true meaning of Easter:
'Now, Tommy, do you know about how Jesus died on the cross for you?'
'I didun't DO it!'
'No, I know Tommy, he did it for ALL of us'
'I don't know no Jesus! And WHARRS MY CHOKLIT EGG???'
Eventually all festivals will become secular, not for the right reasons, but through the sheer idiocy of those bringing up children.
- I'm ecstatic to have learned about the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. Every Thanksgiving, the National Turkey Federation presents the US President with two dressed turkeys and one live one. The live turkey is pardoned and sent away to a peaceful farm where it eventually dies happily, presumably of old age. Barak Obama honoured the tradition this year by pardoning a turkey named Courage for 26th November. Apparently in recent years, there have been 2 live turkeys presented, incase one unexpectedly become unavailable for Presidential pardoning. You know, a very important conference call or something.
I love that, I love that so much. I hope they all go to the same farm where they can swap stories about Presidents. I imagine poor overworked farm hands slaving over spoilt, mollycoddled Diva-turkeys wearing Gucci sunglasses.
- American Football is a Thanksgiving tradition, with professional games being played on Thanksgiving day. The National Football League has hosted games every year since it was founded...barring the WW2 years.
Another tradition is to think about what you're thankful for:
My amazing friends and family, special thanks to Nicki and Jobie
The fact that I'm in a job that I actually really enjoy
That I'm in a position to be able to organise and fund perspective-altering travels next year
The roof over my head
That I haven't felt sad enough to cry in a VERY long time
What are you thankful for today?