Mmm, Thanksgiving, a time of bountiful feasts filled with the best and most fattening delicacies. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
Some of you probably think that there are no myths associated with Thanksgiving and it is all about family and stuffing yourself with turkey, but if you look back to the very beginning at the history of the holiday, there are definitely some misconceptions.
The Pilgrims ate turkey.
I know: Crazy! Who would have thought that for years we’ve all been living a lie? Celebrating year after year a so-called “traditional” holiday that is anything but that.
Not only is it unknown if the Pilgrims really ate turkey, according to the History News Network, but the Pilgrims also didn’t eat many of the treats we are known to enjoy today, like corn on the cob, apples, pears, potatoes, or cranberries, and “the only food we know they had for sure was deer.”
It was actually the Victorians that celebrated Thanksgiving in the way we know it today and declared it a “national holiday, beginning in 1863, when Abe Lincoln issued his presidential Thanksgiving proclamations.” When he did this he actually proclaimed two Thanksgivings, one in August and one in November. Americans beyond New England didn’t even celebrate Thanksgiving till Lincoln, and the Pilgrims “didn’t become part of the holiday until late in the nineteenth century. Until then, Thanksgiving was simply a day of thanks.”
This next myth completely refutes the main fact about the holiday:
The Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving.
Also according to History News Network, if you want to know who, where and what the first “Thanksgiving” was like, you need to go to Texas.
Turns out Texans claim that “the first Thanksgiving in America actually took place in San Elizario, a community near El Paso, in 1598,” which is 23 years prior to the known Thanksgiving by the Pilgrims. But even then, that is just the opinion of Texans; the people in Virginia would beg to differ.
Apparently “at the Berkeley Plantation on the James River they claim the first Thanksgiving in America” on Dec. 4, 1619.
Both of these places didn’t call their celebration “Thanksgiving,” but they had feasts very similar to that of the Pilgrims.
Who knew this holiday could be so deceiving. But at least you got some fun facts you can share around the table with your family this weekend.
And remember, not everyone has the luxury of a full Thanksgiving meal, so donate to your local food bank or volunteer somehow; there is a family out there who needs it.
Have a great Thanksgiving!