Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 20:56:44 -0500

Author: Machele Cable

Subject: Re: t'giving wishes


Thanksgiving is actually not a truly Christian holiday, but it does have
Christian overtones. In the US, it began with a harvest feast held
between the Native American Indians and the European settlers near
Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts. Those settlers have since been dubbed
'the Pilgrams' even though most all of the European settlers of that
time came to the 'Colonies' for religious reasons and thus were called
pilgrams. The first Official Thanksgiving was held on June 29th, 1676
and was a kind of truce proclaimed between the 'pilgrams' and the indians.

This was actually the local indian's fourth 'thanksgiving' of the year
(see exerpt below). This first documented, but not official,
Thanksgiving between the pilgrams and indians was in the fall of 1620
after the settlers arrival the year before. It began as a good faith
gesture from the settlers to the indians, but they were overwhelmed by
the attendance and had to have the indians help provide food for the
celebration. An exerpt from an article explains:

The Algonkian tribes held six thanksgiving festivals
during the year. The beginning of the Algonkian year was
marked by the Maple Dance which gave thanks to the Creator
for the maple tree and its syrup. This ceremony occurred
when the weather was warm enough for the sap to run in the
maple trees, sometimes as early as February. Second was the
planting feast, where the seeds were blessed. The
strawberry festival was next, celebrating the first fruits
of the season. Summer brought the green corn festival to
give thanks for the ripening corn. In late fall, the
harvest festival gave thanks for the food they had grown.
Mid-winter was the last ceremony of the old year. When the
Indians sat down to the "first Thanksgiving" with the
Pilgrims, it was really the fifth thanksgiving of the year
for them!

Captain Miles Standish, the leader of the Pilgrims,
invited Squanto, Samoset, Massasoit (the leader of the
Wampanoags), and their immediate families to join them for
a celebration, but they had no idea how big Indian families
could be. As the Thanksgiving feast began, the Pilgrims
were overwhelmed at the large turnout of ninety relatives
that Squanto and Samoset brought with them. The Pilgrims
were not prepared to feed a gathering of people that large
for three days. Seeing this, Massasoit gave orders to his
men within the first hour of his arrival to go home and get
more food. Thus it happened that the Indians supplied the
majority of the food: Five deer, many wild turkeys, fish,
beans, squash, corn soup, corn bread, and berries. Captain
Standish sat at one end of a long table and the Clan Chief
Massasoit sat at the other end. For the first time the
Wampanoag people were sitting at a table to eat instead of
on mats or furs spread on the ground. The Indian women sat
together with the Indian men to eat. The Pilgrim women,
however, stood quietly behind the table and waited until
after their men had eaten, since that was their custom.

For three days the Wampanoags feasted with the
Pilgrims. It was a special time of friendship between two
very different groups of people. A peace and friendship
agreement was made between Massasoit and Miles Standish
giving the Pilgrims the clearing in the forest where the
old Patuxet village once stood to build their new town of

Thus, our Thanksgiving is now celebrated in the Fall because the first
one was the in dian harvest is always the fourth
Thursday of November, no matter the date. It is a national holiday here
in the states, and children grow up being taught about it...although
perhaps not in this detail. LOL. We give thanks for our blessings, eat
turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean cassarole and mashed
potatoes to celebrate. If you're in the south, you might also get
collards (cooked greens similar to spinach).

Let me know when you all want the real meaning behind St. Patrick's Day!!!

Urs Lauterburg wrote:

>Edward and all mostly americawide TAP-lers,
>Taking Ed's suggestion up and trying to think as globally as possible, I am
>wishing you for thanksgivings all the vegetarian turkeys you can eat.
>Thinking about thanksgiving, I am now wondering where to find the origin of
>these festivities. I assume it must be some kind of a christian religious
>cult. Strange enough thanksgiving is only known as an all american holiday
>around here, maybe it is celebrated in England too though. How about
>Anyway, be nice to all living creatures on this planet and please enjoy
>your days off the physics tracks.
>Greetings from deep in the heart of Europe without any sign of t'giving,
>however with mostly physics guiding me through my days though
>>I add my best thoughts to all.
>>Perhaps Urs can start a Thanksgiving Movement globally :)
>>Get more from the Web. FREE MSN Explorer download :

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Machele Cable Lab Manager Physics WFU
Phone: (336) 758-5532 Fax: (336) 758-6142
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Friends are the Bacon Bits in the salad bowl of life.
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There's a thin woman inside of me trying to get out,
but I can usually shut her up with some chocolate!