It is known that these settlers had reached in November 1620 for establishing their first stable settlement on the land of the Wampanoag (a North American Indian tribe) in the New England region.
The feast was celebrated for nearly 3 days along with the natives with goose, lobster, cod, deer, boiled pumpkin, and much more. However, the celebration did not occur for many years since then.
It was re-commenced only in 1789 when George Washington had proclaimed Thanksgiving to be marked as a national holiday on 26th November 1789 (Thursday). Nevertheless, the event demanded further declaration of President Lincoln to be officially stated as a nationwide holiday on the last Thursday of November in 1863.
However, the day was finally legalized to fourth Thursday in November in 1941 by a joint resolution of Congress, as the former instigated wide-ranging misperceptions.
Mother of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving owes its powers to Sarah Josepha Hale, who hosted a one-woman campaign for recognizing the day as a truthfully national holiday in 1846. She had written several letters to officials for nearly 36 years for promoting Thanksgiving as an official holiday.
It was only after such gigantic advocacy of her, that the day gained its successful national proclamation by Lincoln in 1863 at the height of the Civil War. Due to her determined fight, she earned her richly deserved title, “The mother of Thanksgiving.”
Hale, a prolific writer, is also better known for her nursery rhyme ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’.
The national day was commemorated historically (in 1863) to ask God to, “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation” as well as give thanks for the Union Army win at Gettysburg.
Today, the national event invites families to present thanks and recognize the sacrifices and blessings of the past year with a lip-smacking feast at the heart of celebrations. People embellish their homes with the festive spirit and participate in several activities like attending church services, and hosting special thanksgiving ceremonies.
However, with the huge significance of health as imparted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is mandatory to keep a watch on health this year and engage in smaller gatherings to avoid the deadly consequences of coronavirus.
Although various countries across the globe prepare for hearing the jingling of sleigh bells for Christmas this year, the US is already dived into their jam-packed enthuse through their national harvest festival.
Millions of spectators engage in special sporting events like parades in public like:
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City – the world’s largest Thanksgiving parade where giant cartoon balloons are flown above along with marching bands and dancers.
- America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade in Plymouth, Massachusetts· ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia
- McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago
- Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Parade in New Orleans.
Another tradition perceives the President “pardoning” a live Thanksgiving where turkeys are sent to their farm lives rather than sent to the slaughter.
Amidst the crowd of celebration, do not forget to follow the COVID-appropriate behaviours like:
- Wear a mask when you are in the crowd
- Maintain physical distancing (at least 1 meter) as you engage in celebration
- Limit the gatherings to a minimum
- Prevent the viral spread by coughing into a bent elbow or tissue
Healthy Delights on Your Plates!
Food forms the foremost chunk of Thanksgiving events. As families, friends, neighbors gather around the table to enjoy scrumptious loads on their plates, one is tempted to engage in overeating.
Historically the Americans spent days praying and feasting on the harvest, as a mode of appreciating the prosperous year for agriculture and crops. Although urbanization has modified the food choices as per the trending delights (turkey replaced as the main dish), traditionally, the first thanksgiving had a rather healthier feast.
Stuffing your tummies with deep-fried, high calories foods like fried turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, may add to worsening of health especially among COVID-19 patients.
Replacing these with a healthy nutritious diet loaded with fruits, veggies, and nuts may curb the risk of COVID-19 and keep your immune system boosted. It is equally important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid fizzes to prevent post-thanksgiving fatigue and complications.
Choices for nutritious meals include:
- Opt for fat-free chicken broth
- Consider utilizing low-sodium
- Cut down on unhealthy choices by picking low-fat cheeses, sour cream, and milk
- Replace fries with fresh herbs and spices to enjoy savors
- Substitute whole-grains for bread and muffins
- Eat smaller meals to avoid the load on your tummies
Celebration for Healthy Thanksgiving
As the world acquires the significance of health with the pandemic, it is simultaneously vital to ensure COVID-19 vaccination for giving a safe welcome to everyone for the Thanksgiving celebration.
With the last year’s virtual festivity amidst a pandemic to safeguard the lives of their loved ones, it is necessary to keep the guards up this year as well.
Unvaccinated people may consider wearing a mask and maintain physical distancing as they gather around.
To play it safe, warrant cleaning off your hands with soap & water before grabbing on the delicacies.
Keep a note of your medicines as you engage in celebration; do not skip medications.
- Seek medical advice immediately if you suspect COVID-19 symptoms.
With overloaded gratefulness and joy everywhere, the bliss of the day attracts everyone for a safer and healthier celebration this year with their families.
Happy Thanksgiving Day 2021!
- Continue Remaining Safe During Thanksgiving