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Volume 79

Thanksgiving celebrations are valued traditions

Published (Volume 79, No. Than)

Thanksgiving is finally here.

This wonderful holiday is celebrated throughout United States and Canada, but sometimes people forget all the interesting details about its origins and its old traditions. The first day of Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 as a huge feast between Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians. According to History Channel website, Thanksgiving did not become an annual holiday right away. At first, it was an unofficial event where colonists would get together with local Indians in prayer and feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest.

Nearly two centuries later, it was proclaimed as an official holiday first by New York State and later by the rest of the United States. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln assigned it on the last Thursday of November.

Here is something not everybody may be familiar with: in the beginning there were no huge stuffed turkey nor was there a pumpkin pie, which had not been invented yet. Nevertheless, there were enough “goodies” to call that day a true blessing: seafood, nuts, vegetables and fruits, venison and wild fowl. Social standing determined the food in which one would indulge. Finally, everybody sat at one big table unlike the present day where everyone mostly serves his or her self.

Thanksgiving is also a holiday in Canada. However, the date is earlier, on October 2 and simply commemorates a successful harvest.

The first Canadian Thanksgiving was considered to be in 1578 when an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, in his fruitless search for the northern passage to Orient came upon an unknown Canadian shore, and gave thanks for surviving his voyage. During the time of American Revolution some Americans moved to Canada and introduced their Thanksgiving customs, bringing the two countries a little closer, at least in a cultural sense.

Celebrating this Thanksgiving Day lets us remember those amazing hardships our ancestors had to go through to bring us to the ample present where we can enjoy the fruits of our centuries-old labor.

While most students are going home for a holiday best celebrated in a company of the loved ones, the cafeteria general manager, Chris Munkel, has decided not to have a Thanksgiving dinner.

“Once or twice it was organized and showing up wasn’t that good, not as much as was expected, so I decided not to do it this year,” Munkel said.