Tomorrow’s American Thanksgiving holiday will see millions of turkeys roasted, billions of pounds of cranberries boiled with sugar, and a cornucopia of root vegetables baked, broiled, stewed, creamed, and mashed.
The culinary excesses of the holiday are meant to serve as a reminder of Thanksgiving’s original harvest celebration in 1621. Tradition has it that the pilgrims at the Plimoth colony in Massachusetts were facing a lean winter and had very little harvest to celebrate. As they sat down to their scant meal, the Wampanoag tribe came by bringing quantities of food and offering friendship.
There’s a lot of myth behind this legend, but the appreciation is still there. A fantastic family holiday outing would be to visit the Thanksgiving: Memory, Myth, and Meaning exhibit at the museum Plimouth Plantation outside of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
When I visited Plymouth with my English in-laws two years ago, we were fascinated with the simplicity of the pilgrims’ lives. Thanksgiving just happens to be my favorite holiday. Even though the pilgrims weren’t my favorite adventurers in history, their determination to overcome hardships and challenges in a new country is something to be admired from a few hundred years away.
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