Discussing the Meaning of Thanksgiving - Why Celebrate This Festival?

Do you wish to learn about the meaning of Thanksgiving?

There are so many ideas as to how the first Thanksgiving came about, who started the tradition, and what the actual meaning is. A lot will depend on what country or nationality you are searching for as to what their take on Thanksgiving is.

In Canada, Thanksgiving meanings and celebrations are recorded as early as 1578, while in America, Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1607. Each country as well as each individual family will have their own ideas on what the meaning of Thanksgiving is to them.

Here, we will take a look at a few ideas for such meanings of the celebration.

  • Successful Harvest: One of the most popular takes on the meaning of Thanksgiving is for a successful harvest and food set aside for the lean winter months. The celebrations are usually in the form of feasts that last for days. Part of the meaning is realized by the sharing of the harvest bounty with others; in the case of the Pilgrims, it was sharing the harvest with the Native Indians.

  • Religious: Many people dedicate and owe their thanks to God for all of the blessings that they have received throughout the seasons. The early Pilgrims gave thanks to God for their survival of a bleak and harsh winter followed by a thriving harvest the following fall. They attributed the crops success to their constant prayer and unbending faith. In many homes today, a prayer of thanks is still given prior to the Thanksgiving meal.

  • Safe Journey: In Canada, the first Thanksgiving celebrations were in thanks for successful journeys by explorers who had crossed the oceans and found land in a new country.

  • Peace: For some, the meaning of Thanksgiving is directly related to peace. The citizens of Halifax hosted a Thanksgiving celebration at the end of the Seven Year's War in 1763.

    Teaching the meaning of Thanksgiving can be an important tradition to pass on to our children. Explaining the ancient roots of the Thanksgiving celebrations is a good place to start. The ancient Greeks, Chinese, Hebrews, and Romans gave thanks to their gods at the end of successful harvests. Many of the Thanksgiving traditions today have their roots in those earliest celebrations.

    Having your children help in the preparations for Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to discuss the changes in the celebration as well as the different meanings for different cultures.

    Regardless of the differences, it is generally accepted that the true meaning of Thanksgiving is to give thanks. Thanks can be for your family's wellbeing, peace in the world, having food on the table, or a roof over your head. Thanks can be for anything. Thanks can be to whatever deity you choose, or no deity at all. There is always something to give thanks for in life.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, and may the spirit of thanksgiving be an integral part of our every day lives.

    Read More: Facts about Thanksgiving | More Thanksgiving Fun Facts | Thanksgiving Traditions | Thanksgiving Customs | Thanksgiving Facts and Info | Other Thanksgiving Ideas | Home Page | Site Search

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