Gymnasium # 1
The City of Khasavyurt
The Best Students.
Students with me, Idikova Daisis and Alishbiev Whoseyn
November – the 4-th Thursday.
The idea of a Harvest Feast goes back to ancient times. The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 at the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. After the American Revolution President George Washington proclaimed November 26, 1789, Thanksgiving Day to honor the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and later in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln named the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. It did not become an official national holiday until 1941 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt when Congress passed a special resolution declaring that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
Today Thanksgiving has become a special family holiday when people come home to participate in the traditional Thanksgiving Day Dinner. It is a day for giving thanks for all our blessings and an excellent opportunity to share our bounty with others. Food donations are often stored up at this time for the needy and volunteers prepare holiday dinners for the homeless and less fortunate among us. Buy a few extra cans of food to donate to your local food bank when you do your grocery shopping this year. Another way to share the spirit of the holiday is to invite a member of the Armed Forces who may be unable to go home and spend time with his or her family. Or if there is not a military base near your community you might think about paying a visit to a nursing home where there may be a few elderly patients without family nearby and share some of your time visiting these lonely folks. Holidays can be especially difficult for those without family members nearby.
Thanksgiving is also a time to remember the debt we owe native American Indians because without their unique knowledge of the environment and willingness to help those early European settlers things may have turned out many different. Teach children to respect the Indian traditions and discover what were some of the native American foodstuffs available to those early settlers. Include some of them in your own Thanksgiving dinner many of the traditional dishes we think of already represent some of them such as cranberries. Find out which others can be attributed to the Indians.
Thanksgiving Day (some more facts)
Celebrating a Harvest of Tradition
The fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving Day, ushers in the "official" start of the Christmas season in our modern day world. Marked with parades, huge family meals featuring turkey, gravy, and all the trimmings, day-long displays of athletic prowess—or not, as sometimes happens—with wall-to-wall football, which does make one question whether the turkey or the pigskin is the featured course of the day, and the appearance of Santa throughout malls and stores, the festival has become a commercial event in which the origins and meaning of the day are almost totally obscured. The modern day Thanksgiving is a far different occasion than the original
It is widely assumed that the first Thanksgiving occurred in 1621 and was celebrated by the Pilgrims, English settlers, and local Native Americans. It will come as a surprise to many that
1) the meal in 1621 was not the first Thanksgiving in North America and, in fact, not even a thanksgiving feast, 2) turkey was probably not served and 3) there were no Pilgrims!
The Native American people had celebrated the harvest, in one form or another, for several thousands of years prior to European colonization. The first documented "thanksgiving" observance actually occurred in 1578. An English adventurer, Martin Frobisher, held a formal ceremony in what is now known as New Foundland to give thanks for having survived the long ocean journey. In addition to the settlement in Canada, the Spanish, French, and the Dutch all had settlements in North America and would have carried the old observances marking successful harvests to their new homes as well. It is not surprising that the early arrivals to the Plymouth Colony would also have had their rituals. In point of fact, the new arrivals did not know how to farm and it was the Native Americans who, as established farmers, taught the ways of planting and harvest
The First Thanksgiving Day
If the event in 1621 wasn't a Thanksgiving celebration then the question arises: What was it?
A large celebration was held to which important members of the Native American community were invited, and which was, in all likelihood, a secular celebration of the harvest—certainly not a "day of thanksgiving," as would have been understood by these colonists. In their faith, a day of thanksgiving would have marked the end of a period of fasting and prayer.
The huge celebration, which has been described in historical records, certainly did not fit this mold. That this clearly was a singular event is apparent in that there is no record that it ever was repeated.
The first real Calvinist Thanksgiving followed the ending of a drought in the summer of 1623. In the manner of their faith, these settlers spent the time in religious ceremony to give thanks rather than at a fully laden feast. Nevertheless, this celebration has become the model for our modern day holiday.
Thanksgiving, as we know it today, has come a long way from the Pilgrim's harvest festival in 1621. It is an event that seems, as each year goes by, to reinvent itself and to expand its meaning to larger vistas. Maybe this is the real significance of the occasion; for as we continue to change and grow as a people, there are an increasing number of things for which we can be thankful.
Let's Talk Turkey
Picture the traditional Thanksgiving dinner: a festive table, a loving family, glowing candles and the finest china used only on special occasions. And the centerpiece of the festive meal: the turkey, golden brown, with stuffing and gravy on the side, awaiting the carving knife and whetting the appetites of all those present. This scene, however, is not from history, but it emerges from a desire to remake history into our own vision.
No Thanksgiving Turkey?
Wild turkeys, as they would have been encountered in New England nearly four centuries ago certainly did not resemble the overstuffed fowl, cultivated for our dinner table, that we have come to recognize, even by silhouette. Tough, resourceful, able to fly and hard to catch, turkeys were not the first choice of either Native Americans or early colonial hunters. This creature was so tenacious that none other than Benjamin Franklin suggested it be revered as our national symbol. Of course, the Bald Eagle ultimately won the honor by a feather.
So if turkey was not the main course at the first harvest festival, which we have adopted through time, as the model for Thanksgiving Dinner, then what was served?
Then What's for Thanksgiving Dinner?
The answer lies in some of the documents of the time. Edward Winslow's account details that "they went out and killed five deer" and mentions that "our governor sent four men on fowling" and that "they four, in one day, killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week." While it is possible that turkeys may have been killed, it is more likely that ducks or geese were the primary targets.
In addition, the crops grown by both settler and Native American would have graced that early thanksgiving dinner. Corn, squash, potatoes, yams, even wheat to make bread were, in all probability, shared and enjoyed. Ironically, however, it is not likely that cranberries were evident. Since they grew in bogs and were often inaccessible, gathering them may have been more effort that it was worth. In an even greater piece of irony, New England has become one of the principal locations for commercial farming of this tart, tough-skinned fruit. Today there is such a large variety of food to choose from that a Thanksgiving Dinner can feature almost any main course. True, the traditional turkey is still the meat of choice, yet goose, duck, ham, even some of the sea's harvests can be used. In place of sweet potatoes, peas, rice dishes, greens, and even more exotic vegetables all make their way to this celebration of Thanksgiving and harvest. The key to a Thanksgiving menu is to choose foods that will represent the idea of giving thanks for a good year, a harvesting of good fortune, and the sharing of the bounty of your efforts with friends and family. In today's world, the only limit on preparing a Thanksgiving Dinner is an individual's imagination and creativity.
Thanksgiving Day Traditions
In the United States, aside from the Thanksgiving meal, we have come to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with parades, football, and the start of the Christmas shopping season.
Thanksgiving Day Parades, though not specifically documented, probably got their start when President Lincoln proclaimed an official day of Thanksgiving. Given the Union achievements of the summer of 1863, it would have been logical that any official event declared by the President would have been accompanied by a show of military strength and discipline such as a full-dress parade. Elaborate floats, musical shows and entertainment celebrities have replaced the parades of armed and uniformed men marching in cadence or to a military band, but the desired effect, to lift the spirits of the spectators, remains the goal.
Heralding the Christmas Rush
The day after Thanksgiving, often an additional day off has become "Black Friday" the day when the Christmas shopping frenzy first starts. Like football, this has become a cultural symbol of the holiday and the season.
The advent of Thanksgiving Day football is purely a twentieth century invention. For years, the principal game was a tradition between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. Yet, as this modern day ritual became more and more popular, more games were added with more teams.
Entertaining at Thanksgiving
Tradition doesn't mean that every Thanksgiving has to be the same as the last. Enlighten and excite everyone around you by trying something different this year.
A Canadian Thanksgiving
The Canadian Thanksgiving makes an interesting counterpoint to the holiday celebrated by its southern neighbor. As mentioned earlier, the first North American thanksgiving event occurred in Newfoundland in 1578. In the 1600s, Samuel de Champlain and the French Settlers who came with him established an "Order of Good Cheer." This group would hold huge celebrations marking the harvests and other events, sharing their food with Native American neighbours.
The First Canadian Thanksgiving
The first Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated on April 15, 1872 in thanks for the recovery of the future King Edward VII from a serious illness. The next Thanksgiving didn't occur until 1879 when it was celebrated on a Thursday in November.
Setting a Date
Much like the United States, Canada seemed to have a difficult time deciding when a day of Thanksgiving should occur. From 1879 to 1898 it was celebrated on a Thursday in November; from 1899 to 1907 on a Thursday in October (except in 1901 and 1904 when it was celebrated on a Thursday in November); from 1908 to 1921 on a Monday in October; and between 1922 and 1930 the Armistice Day Act declared that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on Armistice Day, the Monday of November 11. In 1931 the Act was amended and the old practice of Parliament declaring a day of Thanksgiving each year was resumed.
On January 31, 1957 Parliament issued a proclamation to fix permanently the second Monday in October as "a day of general Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed." Much like the United States' Thanksgiving Day, the Canadian celebration includes parades and festive meals, often including turkey and all the "fixins." Yet, again, at the heart of the celebration is the idea of giving thanks for the goodness of the season past.