The Thanksgiving holiday seems to be a classic slice of Americana, and a definitive part of the American experience.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated throughout the United States and is filled with many different customs and traditions, including many American Jews.
More than 200 years ago, the holiday was meant to commemorate an event even older than that, although it has become a divisive issue for many in terms of colonialism and its legacy.
Thanks to the help of Tisquantum, the last surviving members of the Pataxets who lived on the land and are commonly known as Squanto, helped to teach the locals how to grow corn and fish. Following this and getting food from nearby Wampanoags, the pilgrims celebrate their first Thanksgiving in remembrance of this successful harvest.
Many date Thanksgiving practices to traditions French and Spanish colonists practiced in the 1500s.
The event, considered the first Thanksgiving, is thought by many to have taken place in Virginia in 1619 when a number of British colonists celebrated a Thanksgiving just as they landed.
However, the most popular event for Thanksgiving took place in 1621 at Plymouth. The settlers of this colony, a group of separatist Puritans who came to be known as Pilgrims, settled in the area but suffered severe winters.
Why is Thanksgiving controversial?
Holidays that are full of complexity are neither fun nor comfortable. Others cite the perceived religious aspect of the holiday, the over-capitalist tendencies of retailers, and the subsequent criticism of some people for starting the Christmas season and later for making Christmas decorations too early. You can also know more about ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’.
This is especially so in the United States because of the traditional whitewashing of the first Thanksgiving as a symbol of peace and friendship between many traditional pilgrims and Native Americans, the ideological outlook, and disregard of how European colonies saw massive deaths and injustices for aborigines, Americans.