|Eddi Haskell at a Pilgrim Aboard the Mayflower|
We want to wish all our readers in the United States a very happy Thanksgiving Day.
Many people do not know that Thanksgiving, celebrated today in the United States as an important National Holiday, is all about Native Americans helping the first English settlers to New England-- religious refugees called "The Pilgrims" -- survive their first winter in 1621.
The Pilgrims, who arrived on the sailing ship Mayflower, would not have survived without the kindness and generosity of Native Americans through their gifts of food, and knowledge on how to grow and hunt native crops and wildlife. The foods that are consumed for the holiday - roast turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and other treats were all first introduced to the Pilgrims by them.
|90 Native Americans Were The Guests of Honor At The First Thanksgiving Feast|
The feast lasted for three days and including sports, games, and competitions and was quite a party according to the written accounts. One popular legend, that beer was served at that feast, is unproven-- but widely used as an excuse by many to drink copious amounts of it on Thanksgiving Day.
To find out more about Thanksgiving, and how to visit the Mayflower in Second Life, see my blog post from this past Sunday:
|Freedom From Want|
Norman Rockwell's Iconic Painting of Thanksgiving
Published in World War 2
The holiday is celebrated by Americans (and Canadians one month earlier) so that they may give thanks for all they have been given. The most widely played and unofficial national song for the holiday is "We Gather Together" which is a modern version of an old Dutch hymn - written in 1597 by Adrianus Valerius as "Wilt heden nu treden". The Pilgrims took refuge in Holland before they left for America- they very well may have heard this hymn then.
It's a beautiful song, and ecumenical in nature, so that people of all faiths my join in if they wish. I remember singing it in school every year for the holiday. You can hear it in the video below.