Believe It Or Not: Thanksgiving Was Almost A Day of Fasting, Not Feeding Our Faces
It's hard to imagine but Thanksgiving, known as a holiday of overindulgence was quite the opposite in its humble Pilgrim beginnings. Can you imagine this free pass of overindulgence never having existed? You might be surprised to find out that according to Parenting.com, we have the Wampanoag Indians to thank for feasting on Thanksgiving. In 1621, following the Pilgrim's first harvest, they would have fasted as their way of thanksgiving for a successful harvest, however, a group of 90 Wampanoag showed up and turned it into a 3-day feast. Hence, a tradition was born!
Fast forward a couple of hundred years...due to the incredible perseverance of Sarah Josepha Hale (songwriter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb) who kept writing to President Lincoln for 17 years on behalf of having Thanksgiving being declared a national holiday, it became one in 1863.
Knowing what COULD have been really puts a fresh perspective on the Thanksgiving meal, doesn't it? As much as I whine about how I feel after overeating on Thanksgiving because I love everything so much, I would much rather have a FULL aching belly than an EMPTY aching belly! Knowing this interesting history just means that I will enjoy the bounty on my family's table that much more and I extend my thanks to the Native Americans, Sarah Josepha Hale and President Lincoln for making sure the Thanksgiving holiday is a holiday of bounty and not deprivation!
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