What does Thanksgiving mean? Thanksgiving Day is also known as the annual national holiday in the United States and Canada who majorly celebrate the harvest, as well as, all the other blessings received in the past year. A simple yet effective way to give thanks to the Almighty.
This American holiday is rich in legend, symbolism, with their traditional fare of meals including the turkey, bread stuffing, cranberries, potatoes, and pumpkin pie. The busiest holiday of the year, as a part of the tradition, the family members are expected to gather together at the table for the “ever-rich” thanksgiving dinner, this year celebrated on Thursday, November 25, 2021.
Thanksgiving Meaning: The Historical Reasoning
The Thanksgiving meaning from colonists of Canada and New England is based on regular prayer devoted to safe journeys, harvests, or military victories. On the other hand, the Americans model their Thanksgiving holiday on a 1621 harvest feast that was shared between the Wampanoag and the English colonists.
Thanksgiving Meaning: History Of The Celebration Tradition
The Thanksgiving of the Plymouth’s began with a few colonists traveling out “fowling,” possibly for turkeys but ended up with an easier prey of ducks and geese as they killed as much as served in a company for a week.
Then, the Wampanoag (a native American person) made their surprise appearance, unnerving about 50 colonists. Over the next few days, these groups socialized without incident, where the Wampanoag contributed their venison into the feast including fowl, fish, stews, eels, shellfish, vegetables, and beer.
Since Plymouth had just a few manufacturing goods and buildings, most people ate outside, sitting on the ground or the barrels with plates on laps. Men fired guns, drank liquor, and ran races, all speaking in broken English.
This incident was a rather disorderly affair but managed to seal a treaty between the two groups which lasted until the King Philip’s War (1675–76) where colonists and Native Americans lost their lives.
On the other hand, the colonists in New England were accustomed to their regular celebration of “Thanksgivings” by praying to God for blessings for military victory or the end of a drought.
Upon enactment of the constitution, the U.S. Continental proclaimed the national Thanksgiving. Yet, post-1798, the U.S. Congress had left the declaration of Thanksgiving to the states where a few objected to the involvement of the national government in religious observance, and southerners were rather slow to adopt the New England custom, while others simply took offense. This national Thanksgiving Day seemed to come across as a lightning rod for controversy.
It was only until the Northerners dominated the federal government, Thanksgiving became an official holiday. Despite the prevailing sectional tensions, Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned for a national Thanksgiving Day as a sign of unity. With the support of President Abraham Lincoln, she finally won on October 3, 1863, and Lincoln proclaimed a national day of the now – Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Meaning: The Thanksgiving Holiday
The Thanksgiving holiday was annually proclaimed by each president, post which the date is chosen keeping in mind a few exceptions – the last Thursday in November.
As a result of which, the urban families who lived farther apart started to gather at the Thanksgiving table in awe of thanking their blessing of the year with loved ones. The holiday which was initially rooted as one of the religious festivals, soon moved away, allowing immigrants of every background to participate in this wholesome celebration of thanks.
The celebrations took a turn from the Thanksgiving Day football games that began in 1876, Yale versus Princeton, enabling fans to add some rowdiness into the holiday season. As for the late 1800s, parades became common, with the Gimbels store in Philadelphia in 1920 staging a parade of 50 people with Santa Claus at the rear of the procession. Adding on, in 1924, the annual Macy’s parade of New York continued the tradition with a twist of huge balloons.
Given the time, this holiday that was earlier associated with Native Americans and Pilgrims now became to symbolize intercultural peace and sanctity of home and family.
The Thanksgiving Celebration: 10 Smart Thanksgiving Preparation Tips for Thanksgiving
Here are a few thanksgiving preparation tips that can help you quickly crosscheck to know if you happen to miss any, each year!
1. Cookware And Kitchen Tool Check:
While we are sure that you’ve planned your menu well in advance, it is equally important for you to check for the cookware and kitchen tools to help prepare dinner. This includes a roasting pan, pie dishes, meat thermometer, etc.
2. Thaw Your Turkey
Is your turkey frozen? Well, it’s about time you start thinking about when to thaw it. A completely frozen turkey would need about a day to thaw, for every four pounds in weight. So, make sure to plan as per the preparations needed.
3. Roasting Turkey Without A Roasting Pan
Roasting pans could be an expensive piece of cookware to buy, taking into consideration its little needs and use. Therefore, if buying one doesn’t seem right to you, look for other ways to roast that bird!
4. Pre-Prep And Freeze The Gravy
There can never be too-much gravy on Thanksgiving, so why not prepare the gravy well in advance? This not only helps to tackle the essentials but also adds in the kick of authentic flavor.
5. Prepare The Cranberry Sauce
This is one important sauce that’s of great use but can also be easily skipped and forgotten whilst the Thanksgiving dinner prep. So, to be sure of not having to sit without it, it’s a good idea to prepare the sauce in advance, until the big day.
6. Prepare The Mashed Potatoes In Advance
Yes, potatoes are not great when frozen, but mashed potatoes are an exception. As long as the potatoes are well coated with enough cream and butter, they’re freezer-friendly.
7. Freeze Dinner Rolls
Regardless of whether you choose to prepare dinner rolls with your Thanksgiving supper or would like to save it for a small turkey sandwich, preparing the dinner rolls in advance is a good idea and an easy way to prepare for the Thanksgiving dinner.
8. Prepare The Pie Crust
Be it an apple, pumpkin, or even a pecan pie, what remains constant is a pie crust. So, irrespective of the dinner plans, it’s a good idea to prepare the pie crust in advance.
9. Why Not Prepare The Whole Pie?
If fruit-pies are your pick this year, then it’s better to prepare in advance. This will help you get a good head start for Thanksgiving, all you’d need to do is simply put it in the oven and bake it. Remember, this is not true for custard-based pies.
10. Schedule Your Events
Even if you have managed to complete major heavy lifting well in advance, it’s a good idea to schedule your day in advance. This includes what needs to take place when — especially when it comes to putting the dishes in the oven.
We hope this blog post helps you prepare yourself in advance and have a well-spaced Thanksgiving dinner with your family and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!