Thanksgiving is much more than food

You’re sitting at your dining table with the rest of your family, waiting patiently for your mother to finish setting the plates and forks. She sits down and joins everyone, then takes each person’s hand, and is now ready to say grace. The food smells incredible, but the holding of your sibling’s hand prevents you from digging in and savoring every bite. Your family finally puts their hands down and their forks up, ready to feast, but while you munch on some delicious ham, the question never pops into your head, “What is Thanksgiving really about?”

While the food is about the only thing you’ll probably remember that day, it’s also important to realize what you’re commemorating is meaningful. The “first Thanksgiving” wasn’t as much of a celebration, as it was a simple get-together between the pilgrims and the Indians. In the September of 1620, a large ship called the Mayflower, was used to transport English Puritans, or commonly known as pilgrims, from Plymouth, England to the New World. Upon arriving in the New World, the pilgrims founded “Plymouth Rock” on the far eastern coast of Massachusetts. The trip itself was a difficult one, as it has been estimated that about 46 pilgrims out of 102 didn’t survive the journey. The losses were a tragedy that was difficult to bear, but with the help of the Indians whom the pilgrims met, they were able to overcome their challenges with grief.

At the same time, the Indians and pilgrims were able to produce together a harvest in the following year of 1621. Due to their successful collection of crops, the pilgrims held a gathering with the Indians to eat the food that they harvested, a gathering that was not familiar to the Indians. Though it was strange for them, the Indians and the pilgrims were united that day, coming together as strangers to eat like a family. What makes this occasion such a memorable day is the atmosphere of togetherness that is present among everyone, regardless of whether or not they feel it. This bond of family and unity is brought back every year during the holiday of Thanksgiving because it’s the one day where the people that you consider to be your family are there, with the same compassion as you. This unification is why Thanksgiving is much more than food.

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