THANKSGIVING 2013 – A Little History
What’s in a Holiday?: Thanksgiving’s Pagan Roots
In my previous posts on the origins of our contemporary holidays, we learn how many of them have roots in Paganism. The holiday of Thanksgiving is hardly different and it was certainly not the first feast celebrating the harvest.
In school, we are taught that in the year 1621 the Pilgrims established Thanksgiving to share their abundant harvest with the local Wampanoag tribe (“People of the Dawn”) who were a civilization of hunters, farmers and fisherman. Although the Pilgrims and Wampanoagans celebrated the first actual Thanksgiving itself, the tribe had its’ own feast day in which they gave thanks for their abundant crops as they honored Kiehtan, the Creator. Future Pagan immigrants brought their harvest festivals to America as well.
By the time Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a National holiday in 1861, other Europeans had also settled in America and brought with them their own traditions, some Pagan. Harvest festivals were celebrated by European Romans at Cerelia by giving thanks to Ceres, the Goddess of Harvest. Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Pagans celebrated Lughnasadh and Mabon, which as Wiccans we know, is also the First and Second Harvests of the year. The Greeks honored Demeter during the Thesmohoria and the New Englanders’ Pagan ancestors celebrated Harvest Home (the first reaping of crops in August). This was a time for gratitude and reflection followed by singing and dancing, after which everyone enjoyed a wonderful feast.
A special wish for everyone and their families and a very Happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Blessed Be!
Author – Lady Blogger: Morganna
A MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
Happy Thanks and Giving! There is always so much abundance that continues to surround us throughout the year. Take a moment to appreciate all that you are, all that you have, all whom you know, and everything that surrounds you. Give thanks in advance for your life that is and will be. Celebrate your life and make every moment count. Wishing you a Bright and Festive Thanksgiving this year – full of Connection, Joy, Love, Smiles, and Warmth. Remember, enjoy the moment by being spiritually present in each moment and give yourself permission and the freedom to create your experience and enjoy it. Many Blessings to You All. Thanks for all your kind words, support, and great comments!
Much Love & Light,
Angela (aka – The Spiritblogger)