No one knows when the first thanksgiving feast took place, or whose idea it was to get together and throw a celebratory feast. Everyone knows what it was they were thankful for, don’t they?
These Pilgrims left Europe because of religious differences. They were seeking a home where they could practise their chosen religion free from state intervention.
It was a difficult crossing from England for those settlers, who thought they were going to Virginia then. They were all very grateful to have survived the sea crossing, a dangerous journey at the time.
These people from Europe came across the sea in wooden boats. It was a long hard journey with barely enough provisions and a fair amount of deaths during the journey.
They didn’t have much time for settling in as a harsh winter settled in over what we now call New England. Odds are that turkey wasn’t on the menu for that first feast. The native squash would be cut up, boiled and mashed. The native americans would have roasted whole corn. Meat at the meal would have been local game birds, possibly rabbit or squirrel and, if the hunters had a good day, venison roasted on a spit.
The modern feast has evolved to include a roasted turkey, some form of corn, mashed sweet potatoes or squash, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie for dessert. It has become a time of family reunions for many or sharing with friends for those who cannot joint their families.
Lately the celebration has popped up overseas as expatriates refuse to give up the tradition.