Thanksgiving Traditions Then & Now


Z Goodman, Staff Reporter

It’s that time of year again! Thanksgiving a time for togetherness and love and just pure family time. Where distant relatives finally come over to eat turkey and converse with each other. Thanksgiving has many roots and has drastically changed throughout the years, though it is obviously in the tradition of “feast” days celebrated by people worldwide.

Thanksgiving was originally a holiday of the native Wampanoag tribe as a way of thanking the gods for a great harvest.  It was initially adopted by the Puritans to just thank God or better known as just a day solely dedicated to prayer and giving thanks to God.  In 1777 Thanksgiving was made the first national Holiday by the Continental Congress. It wasn’t until 1941 during Franklin D Roosevelt’s presidency that Thanksgiving was made the last Thursday of November.

Despite its origins, Native Americans and Indians were not associated with this holiday until the 1900’s. Many people introduced them as a way to introduce ideals such as thankfulness and togetherness. These ideals have been passed down generation after generation and is what modern day thanksgiving is built on. Traditional thanksgiving food is the sort of food that the Indians and early Colonists might have harvested. Nowadays Thanksgiving is a blend of the Puritan ideas of prayer and gratefulness and the Native American feasts and harvests.

This November 26th, Thanksgiving is much different than what the Puritans, Native Americans, or the early colonizers could ever imagine.Many Thanksgivings are now spent getting recipes off of Pintrest, watching the football game, and eating way more than you probably should.

Megan Payne from Theresa, New York says “Thanksgiving is good time to spend with your family and eat a ton of food which is wonderful!”

As much fun that takes place on Thanksgiving, people such as Cedric Cromwell believe “Thanksgiving is an opportunity to give thanks, but also to highlight the way that his people suffered at the hands of the settlers.” Thanksgiving can be seen as day of togetherness but also reflection of past events. The holiday has come a very long way since the meeting of the Wampanoag tribe and the Puritans, and will no doubt continue to change in the future.