Fleeing from Europe wide catholic persecution to the Americas, many of the original colonists celebrated the ageless traditional autumn harvest with a feast of thanks. The feast was planned to thank the Indians for teaching them how to grow and cook those foods. Without the Indians, the first settlers would not have survived. They ate venison and sweetcorn and of course pumpkin! Following the first civil war, George Washington suggested the date, November 26 is deemed as ‘Thanksgiving Day’, when the whole nation could celebrate the survival of that first colony. Then at the end of the long and bloody civil war in 1863, Abraham Lincoln set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving. Supposedly a symbol of inter-racial and religious tolerance, cooperation and dependency. None of which appear to exist in Obama land.
Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday shopping spree. Midway between the myths of Halloween and Christmas the true symbolism of this harvest festival is soon lost to that great god of American’s – commercialism. The suffering of both colonists and indigenous population is mainly forgotten.
The Pilgrims came across the sea,
And never thought of you and me;
And yet it’s very strange the way
We think of them Thanksgiving Day.
We tell their story old and true
Of how they sailed across the blue,
And found a new land to be free
And built their homes quite near the sea.
The people think that they were sad,
And grave; I’m sure that they were glad –
They made Thanksgiving Day – that’s fun –
We thank the Pilgrims every one!
by Annette Wynne