As the leaves turn beautiful golden and fiery red hues, the weather gets colder, and people prepare for the oncoming winter in the Northern Hemisphere, Americans enjoy the annual celebration of Thanksgiving. It is a time to be with family and friends, to remember the history of the country’s founders hundreds of years ago, and to be grateful for all they have. In effect, it is a time to count blessings and enjoy the bounty of the year – with a large focus on traditional foods such as roasted turkey and seasonal vegetables.
Now observed on the fourth Thursday in November annually, the history of Thanksgiving is taught to American children. For some families it is the biggest celebration of the year and the start of the holiday season, including Christmas and the New Year.
The holiday is considered a vital part of American history and identity, but much of the popular story told every year about Thanksgiving’s origins is said to be full of historical inaccuracies. What are the real origins of this holiday harvest festival?