History of being Thankful


The history of Thanksgiving started in England during the 15th century. King James I and his successor, King Charles I, were hostile to Puritans. This led to the colonization of America because many Puritans fled to avoid religious prosecution.  

Against popular belief, the Puritans are who started the tradition of Thanksgiving, not the Pilgrims. Pilgrims, also known as Separatists, took up a very small portion of people who traveled to America. After the ship that sailed to America in 1620, also known as the Mayflower, there were no more pilgrims traveling to America. The people who celebrate Thanksgiving were known as Puritans. 

Puritans were a religious group who were discriminated against in England. They believed in predestination, which is that God has already decided who is going to Hell or Heaven: a judgmental God or the idea that God rewards the good and punishes the evil and original sin. This is an idea that humans are born full of sin because of Adam and Eve and that performing good deeds is how you find your way to heaven.  

The Puritans settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, now known as Boston, Massachusetts, which is known for its harsh winter temperatures and hard soil which is not good for farming. Because of these conditions, many suffered in America due to disease and freezing.  

During this time, the Puritans met the Native American people of the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes who knew how to cultivate the land in order to grow food. They also taught them how to hunt and fish for food.  

Because of these few blessings they received, the Puritans had a period of fasting before the harvest of their produce in order to help ensure the fact that their harvest would be plentiful.   

During their next harvest, they celebrated with a feast which also marked the end of their fasting period. This meal has been repeated for centuries and has evolved into what we know as Thanksgiving. 

We celebrate Thanksgiving later than when the Puritans would. Historians believe that Puritans celebrated their feast sometime during the months of late September to early November. This means that a Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated at a more accurate time than ours. 

This meal wouldn’t have looked like our meal now. Instead of turkey, the main feast would be venison, stew, and other types of grain, for example, Indian corn. Indian corn now is used as decoration more than eating because of its many different colors such as red, blue, orange, purple, and yellow.  

Thanksgiving is a holiday that has been celebrated for centuries and has experienced many changes throughout the years and will continue to be celebrated for many more centuries.