Thanksgiving

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by jonmagee, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. jonmagee

    jonmagee
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    I understand that many of you in the states will be celebrating "Thanksgiving" later this month. For those of us in the wider world, how about explaining its significance and any particular customs surrounding it.
    yours, Jon
     
  2. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Living in the U.S.A., I know nothing about
    Canadian Thanksgiving--only about as much
    as I know about their Boxing Day! 8o) So my
    Thanksgiving Day is an old-fashioned one,
    built around family. However, we have modern-
    ized enough that I do not demand that things
    are done my way, at my house. Mainly, the
    holiday is to accomodate, as best we can, the
    whole extended family.

    My children are married. That means that their
    in-laws have as much right to them as I have to
    them. 8o) Last year, for example, we had a
    delightful American-Asian Thanksgiving at my
    son's wife's parents' home, with all their family
    and the grown children's special friends.

    As is normally done, we had a wonderful big
    roasted turkey, served whole and uncut to the
    table. It was stuffed with a bread-stuffing,
    seasoned to perfection.

    I brought a loaf of home-made bread, two
    large containers of yams (one without sugar
    and the other with brown sugar and marsh-
    mallows), a greenbean cassarole made with
    fresh mushrooms and home-made mushroom
    sauce, and a salad that filled a large punch bowl.
    My daughter's family and my son's each brought
    their special goodies.

    In the end, there were the food items I mentioned
    as well as cold potato salad, mashed potatoes,
    and gravy (which must be spilled at least once
    by an embarrassed pre-teen or it is not a proper
    Thanksgiving). There were spring rolls, pot
    stickers, fish sauce, rice, and other Asian
    delights I could not possibly name. All took
    home leftovers from this meal that they had not
    brought to it.

    And there is always pumpkin pie. People have
    gotten creative with their pumpkin pies, but my
    favorite will always be the simplest.

    Well, it was not our usual Thanksgiving, but it
    was wonderful, too. All there were not believers,
    since my daughter-in-law's father is still Bud-
    dhist, so although we had prayer to our God
    before we ate, the conversation was not what
    one would expect in a group of believers.

    Norrmally, the host will lead the conversation into
    the lines of what we are thankful for, the things
    that had happened over the past year for which
    we are grateful, etc. Believing Americans usually
    use this time to lift up our Lord, to praise Him,
    to share with the needy, and to teach the children
    family tradition , a tradition of thankfulness, and
    a desire to reach the needy.

    [ November 09, 2002, 05:16 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  3. jonmagee

    jonmagee
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    when is thanksgiving?
    yours, Jon.
     
  4. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Thanksgiving in the U.S. is the last Thursday of
    November. At that time, the weather for most
    of the U.S. has a winter chill to it. The Midwest,
    South, and East usually still have vibrant colors in
    their hardwood trees; if not, the color is a delight
    upon the ground which calls for a Thanksgiving
    Day walk after the feast--in the woods, in a park,
    or even down a city street. What a delight!

    On the West Coast, the mountains are glorious
    and very visible in the brisk, clear air. We have
    many evergreens and fewer hardwoods, but
    our land is also colorful with the golds and reds
    of autumn.

    Many, all over the country, get their first snows
    on this day. This is always a delight to the little
    ones. Basements and storages are quickly
    emptied of their snow toys, even for a mere
    sprinkling of snow.

    In the mountains, the ski lodges are full. Red-
    cheeked over-anxious snowbunnies don all
    their ski gear, only to find themselves removing
    much of it after a first run, to ski in shirt sleeves.

    It is a delightful time for most, but there are
    always the hungry, the forgotten, the lonely, the
    cold. It is a difficult time of the year for those
    mourning a family member or those in broken
    relationships. We all do our best to help, but . . .
    well, you know.

    [ November 09, 2002, 05:32 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  5. jonmagee

    jonmagee
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    How much still relates to the origonal pilgrim fathers? Or has it, in modern life, become merely a special holiday with out the same thought for its origins?
     
  6. Walls

    Walls
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    Out of all the secular holidays, thanksgiving is the only one that has biblical merits. In the old testament there was three feast that the God had commanded the Israelites to keep: passover, first fruits and end gathering. Thanksgiving could be considered end gathering.

    It is true that most people celebrate Thanksgiving in tradition only not considering the meaning behind. I wondering how many even know the words to the Mayflower Compact :confused: Thanksgiving is to the person what he holds it to be in his heart. [​IMG]
     
  7. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    That would differ from celebrant to celebrant,
    or better said, from family to family. Often,
    in churches, mention is made of the sacrifices
    and way of life of these people. In public
    schools, their own traditional concepts are
    taught, while in private schools, a different
    tradition is taught. In public high schools and
    colleges, yet another tradition is taught while
    degrading those more common in lower grades.

    Churches often mention Thanksgiving and
    the history and/or tradition behind it. Since I
    attend a synagogue, no mention of any
    non-biblical holiday is made at all, because it
    is believed that only biblical things should be
    taught there; however, unlike Christmas or
    Easter, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated.

    The public schools in the U.S., according to
    modern tradition, are not to mention our God
    or the specifically godly acts of others. There-
    fore, in the younger grades, the children are
    often taught that the pilgrims came here for
    freedom's sake alone. Peace with the original
    Americans and a specific dinner with Native
    Americans is mentioned as one of thanks for a
    great harvest after a period of extreme want.

    Public high schools and colleges, when men-
    tioning the holiday, will often teach that the
    people came here strictly for monetary pur-
    poses. Religious-based schools teach that the
    people came seeking religious freedom.

    In my birth-family, the only thing I remember
    being done with regard to the original purpose
    of Thanksgiving was the little-child Pilgrim
    candles, placed upon the table on each side
    of a turkey canndle, in front of a filled cornu-
    copia. At the end of the day, we would light
    the candles and watch the little pilgrims' heads
    melt. ! ! !

    In my present family, I must admit that it is all
    about family and not about the Pilgrims at all.
    I do not remember mentioning them, except to
    correct the misconceptions from school, when
    the children were at home.

    However, it is our time of gratefulness to our
    God and of sharing with the needy. I must
    also admit that it is a time we in the U.S. have
    built around food.

    I do hope that someone from Canada gets on
    and tells something about their traditions. I
    also do not know the date of their Thanksgiving.

    [ November 09, 2002, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  8. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Just a quick statement: all of our holy days
    include food--either feasting or fasting.
    There are actually six feasts and one fast.
    (Other than these are other feasts and fasts.)

    Feasts in order: Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles),
    Passover, Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened
    Bread), Yom HaBikkkurim (Feast of Firstfruiits),
    Shavuot (Feast of Weeks), and Rosh Hashannah
    (Feast of Trumpets). The fast is Yom Kippur.

    [ November 09, 2002, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  9. GrannyGumbo

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    There's a little tune we used to sing at this time of year which can be found here; also, there is the song "We Gather Together" and some trivia:

    http://www.wilstar.com/holidays/overriv.htm

    Over the River and
    Through the Woods

    Over the river and thru the wood,
    To grandfather's house we go;
    The horse knows the way
    To carry the sleigh,
    Thru the white and drifted snow, oh!
    Over the river and thru the wood,
    Oh, how the wind does blow!
    It stings the toes,
    And bites the nose,
    As over the ground we go.

    Over the river and thru the wood,
    To have a first-rate play;
    Oh, hear the bell ring,
    "Ting-a-ling-ling!"
    Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day-ay!
    Over the river and thru the wood,
    Trot fast my dapple gray!
    Spring over the ground,
    Like a hunting hound!
    For this is Thanksgiving Day.

    [ November 09, 2002, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: GrannyGumbo ]
     
  10. Abiyah

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    Bump, Canadians!
     
  11. InHim2002

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    thanks for the explaination!
     
  12. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    In my belief system, we have three specific
    thanksgivings other than the American one.
    These are called in English Bibles the Feast of
    Firstfruits, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast
    of Tabernacles. We also have the yeears of
    "Jubilee," which are thanksgiving years. Of
    course, these are the "Thanksgiving Days" of
    Israel.

    I would be interested in reading about other
    countries' similar traditions.
     
  13. Jim1999

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    Canadian Thanksgiving relates closer to the Brit Harvest Sunday. It is celebrated in October.The 2nd Monday (all statutory holidays were moved to the nearest Monday).

    Generally families meet around the table and enjoy a feast of turkey..or whatever is their preference.

    At the churches, we gather the fruit of the harvest, display it at the front and later distribute the food to the needy.

    Unlike the USA, where it relates to the Pilgrims first winter in America, Canada draws its memories on the harvest.

    Cheers,

    Jim

    [ November 10, 2002, 01:14 PM: Message edited by: Jim1999 ]
     
  14. jonmagee

    jonmagee
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    Jim, I never realised there was a Canadian Thanksgiving, but your explanation relating to harvest Festivals make sense.
    yours Jon
     
  15. jonmagee

    jonmagee
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    Walls...... what is the "Mayflower compact"
    yours, Jon
     
  16. jonmagee

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    Abiyah......Does the "end gathering" happen at the same time as American thanksgiving in November?
    yours, Jon.
     
  17. rsr

    rsr
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    Jon, it was signed by the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower and established the first basis for written laws in the New World, a "social contract" to which the signers were bound.

    http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/revolution/mayflower.htm

    (Notice that it mentions Virginia; that's where they thought they were going. Imagine their surprise.)

    [ November 10, 2002, 08:24 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  18. jonmagee

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    Rsr.....thanks for the info. I must be really out of touch cos I thought they were going to Virginia as well. So where did they end up?
    yours, Jon
     
  19. rsr

    rsr
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    Massachusetts.

    "Virginia" was the name for the entire English claim in North America. They landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

    [ November 10, 2002, 09:13 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  20. Walls

    Walls
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    The Mayflower Compact (November 1620)

    -------------------------------------------------

    p&gt; IN The Name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honor of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. In WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth and of Scotland, the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620

    John Carver Edward Tilley Degory Priest
    William Bradford John Tilley Thomas Williams
    Edward Winslow Francis Cooke Gilbert Winslow
    William Brewster Thomas Rogers Edmund Margeson
    Issac Allerton Thomas Tinker Peter Browne
    Myles Standish John Rigdale Richard Britteridge
    John Alden Edward Fuller Georoe Soule
    Samuel Fuller John Turner Richard Clarke
    Christopher Martin Francis Eaton Richard Gardiner
    William Mullins James Chilton John Allerton
    William White John Crackston Thomas English
    Richard Warren John Billington Edward Dotey
    John Howland Moses Fletcher Edward Leister
    Stephen Hopkins John Goodman
     

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