Thanksgiving Day, as the world already knows, marks an important national holiday and the start of the holiday season in the western part of the world. It is today considered a harvest festival where families gather to share a hearty meal and express gratitude for blessings and good fortune. The feast is almost always centered around a turkey, so much so an astonishing 50 million turkeys are consumed by Americans each year, thus giving this festival the colloquial name “Turkey Day”.
A Tradition That Dates Back To Over Two Centuries Ago
The festivity and traditions surrounding Thanksgiving Day go back to the early 17th century. The Pilgrims who emigrated from Europe landed in New England extremely unprepared for its harsh conditions and faced troubles when they had to grow food for them to eat. Many lost their lives in the months that followed until the Native Americans supposedly taught them how to cultivate corn. Following their first successful harvest the next year, the Pilgrims hosted a lavish three-day-long feast and invited the neighboring Indian tribes to join them in their First Thanksgiving celebrations.
This tradition was carried on by various colonies on different days over the next two centuries until the proclamation by George Washington in 1789 that made Thanksgiving a national celebration. The date was further set in stone during the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln issued the Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863 that established a national religious holiday on the last Thursday of November as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens”.
What Are We Giving Thanks To Today?
Although modern-day festivities celebrate the spirit of the holiday season that includes Christmas and New Year celebrations, Thanksgiving Day provides the perfect opportunity for people to come together with their loved ones and offer a prayer of gratitude to all things wonderful.
In a way, this is also the best time to give thanks to the millions of farmers worldwide who are out there under the sun tending to the soil and their crops and building upon four pillars of innovation, choice, access, and nutrition to help feed close to 8 billion. No matter rain or shine, they strive to give people the option to choose from a global pantry food that is not only nutritious but also caters to each one’s taste preferences, and it is now our turn to take a moment to be thankful for a plentiful harvest