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Thanksgiving Day



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Thanksgiving Day

    In the USA one of the most important festivals is Thanksgiving. This is a celebration of the first harvest of the English settlers in America nearly 400 years ago.

    The first puritan settlers were known as the Pilgrim Fathers and they are honored as the founders of their nation.

    The festival is celebrated by many families attending church. They bring gifts to share with those less fortunate to have a special meal. They eat turkey, sweet potato, sweet corn, cranberry sauce, followed by sweet pumpkin pie for dessert.

    This festival is honored on the fourth Thursday in November.

    The history of the first thanksgiving was that in 1620 a group of Dutch and English families sailed on the Mayflower from a place known as Plymouth. The reason why they were leaving was they wanted to be free to worship their own god and not the faith of the Church of England. The journey was known as a pilgrimage so this was the reason why they were known as the Pilgrim Fathers.

    They were to set sail for the east-coast of America but ran into trouble instead landing on the Massachusetts coast.

    Here they were forced to build shelters in spite of the fact that it was the middle of winter. The Indians who had been living in this part of the country tried to help them. Things did not go well as many of them died from diseases and the cold. In spite of this all, they fought on.

    When spring came they were able to start sowing their crops which were believed to be wheat, rye, oats, beans, carrots and onions. The Indians also had their own crops which the Pilgrim Fathers had never seen the likes of before. There crops were maize which the settlers called Indian corn and potatoes. They also had good fishing as well as other meat such as deer and bison. There were also birds known as a turkey.

    There was plenty of food for supplies for the next winter and most of all plenty of seed for sowing the crops. Because they were very religious they set aside a day to thank God for their good harvest. After they thanked God they cooked a special meal. They invited the Indians who had helped them to join in their feast.

    Today they eat turkey with vegetables and cranberry sauce, followed by pumpkin pie. One recipe they might have had was Sweet Candied Potatoes also a dish called Succotash.



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