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Thanksgiving Day

     Almost in every culture in the world there is a celebration  of  thanks
for  rich  harvest.  The  American  Thanksgiving  began  as   a   feast   of
thanksgiving almost four hundred years ago.
     In 1620, a religious community sailed  across  the  Atlantic  Ocean  to
settle in New World. They settled in what is  not  known  as  the  state  of
Massachusetts. Their first winter in America  was  difficult.  They  arrived
too late to grow a rich harvest. Moreover, half the Iroquois Indians  taught
them also how to grow other crops and how to hunt and fish.
     In the autumn of 1621 they got a beautiful  harvest  of  corn,  barley,
beans and pumpkins. The colonists had much  to  be  thankful  for,  so  they
planned a feast. The colonists learned from Indians how to cook  cranberries
and dishes of corn and pumpkins.
     In following years many of the colonists celebrated the harvest with  a
feast of thanks. After  the  United  States  gained  independence,  Congress
recommended one yearly day of thanksgiving for  the  whole  country.  Later,
George Washington suggested the date November 26 as Thanksgiving Day.  Then,
after the  civil  war,  Abraham  Lincoln  suggested  the  last  Thursday  in
November to be the day of thanksgiving.
     On Thanksgiving Day, family members gather at the  house  of  an  older
relative, even if they live far away. All give thanks  for  everything  good
they have. Charitable organizations offer traditional meal to the homeless.
     Foods, eaten at the first thanksgiving, have  become  traditional.  The
traditional thanksgiving meal consists of roast turkey  stuffed  with  herb-
flavored bread, cranberry jelly, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. Other  dishes
may vary as to region: ham, sweet, potatoes, creamed corn.

                        A Celebration of Thanksgiving

The origins of Thanksgiving predated the  Pilgrims  at  least  2,000  years.
After the harvest of each year was safely  stored  for  the  winter,  Celtic
priests, the Druids, would mark the end of their calendar  with  prayers  to
their sun god for protection during the  period  of  darkness  and  cold  of
winter.  These  harvest  festivals  evolved  and  became  combined  with   a
Christian Feast of Saints.
The first formal celebration of Thanksgiving in North America  was  held  by
an English  explorer,  Martin  Frobisher,  who  attempted  to  establish  an
English settlement on Baffin Island, after failing to  discover  a  northern
passage to the Orient in 1576.  Canada  established  the  second  Monday  in
October as a national holiday, "a day of general thanksgiving," in 1957.
The Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock held their Thanksgiving in  1621  as  a  three
day "thank you" celebration to the leaders of  the  Wampanoag  Indian  tribe
and their families for teaching them the  survival  skills  they  needed  to
make it in the New World. It was their good fortune that  the  tradition  of
the Wampanoags was to treat any visitor to  their  homes  with  a  share  of
whatever food the family had, even if supplies were  low.  It  was  also  an
amazing stroke of luck that one of the  Wampanoag,  Tisquantum  or  Squanto,
had become close friends with a British explorer,  John  Weymouth,  and  had
learned the Pilgrim's language in his  travels  to  England  with  Weymouth.
Wild turkey was on the menu,  along  with  corn  (Pilgrim's  wheat),  Indian
corn, barley, peas, waterfowl, five deer (brought by the  Indians  as  their
dish to pass), bass and cod. Since then,  we've  added  such  delicacies  as
ham, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, popcorn, cranberry sauce  and  pumpkin
pie. What? Pumpkin pie is not authentic? The Pilgrims probably made  pumpkin
pudding sweetened with honey, but they didn't have sugar, crust  or  whipped
topping. Life was tough back then.
    The turkey tradition was really pushed by Benjamin Franklin, who  wanted
to make it the United States national symbol because it is a  quick  runner,
wary, with sharp eyesight,  and  exhibited  a  regal  stance,  at  least  to
Franklin. While the bald eagle nudged out the wild turkey for  our  official
national symbol, Norman Rockwell has probably made the image of  the  family
Thanksgiving turkey even more famous, and certainly more mouth watering.
The actual day we celebrate  Thanksgiving  in  America  was  picked  by  our
presidents,  starting  with  George  Washington  who  declared  a   one-time
holiday. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last  Thursday  in  November  to  be
"...a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father  who  dwelleth
in the Heavens." Franklin D. Roosevelt moved it to the  fourth  Thursday  of
November in  1939,  to  prevent  a  5  week  November  from  shortening  the
Christmas shopping season.
T for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather.

H for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday.

A for autumn's frosty art, and abundance in the heart.

N for neighbours, and October, nice things, new things to remember.

K for kitchen, kettles' croon, kith and kin expected soon.

S for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that abounds.

                                Did You Know?

Americans did not invent  Thanksgiving.  It  began  in  Canada.  Frobisher's
celebration in 1578 was 43 years before the pilgrims  gave  thanks  in  1621
for the bounty that ended a year of hardships  and  death.  Abraham  Lincoln
established the date for the US as the last Thursday in November.  In  1941,
US Congress set the National Holiday as the fourth Thursday in November.

Frobisher and early colonists, giving thanks for safe passage,  as  well  as
pilgrim celebrations in  the  US  that  began  the  traditions  of  turkeys,
pumpkin pies, and the gathering of family and friends.


      There are three traditions behind our Canadian Thanksgiving Day.

   1. Long ago, before the first Europeans arrived  in  North  America,  the
      farmers in Europe held celebrations at harvest time.  To  give  thanks
      for their good fortune and the abundance of  food,  the  farm  workers
      filled a curved goat's horn with fruit  and  grain.  This  symbol  was
      called a cornucopia or horn of plenty. When they came to  Canada  they
      brought this tradition with them.

   2. In the year 1578, the English navigator Martin Frobisher held a formal
      ceremony, in what is now  called  Newfoundland,  to  give  thanks  for
      surviving the long journey. He was later knighted and had an inlet  of
      the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him - Frobisher Bay.
      Other settlers arrived and continued these ceremonies.

   3. The third came in the year 1621, in what is  now  the  United  States,
      when the Pilgrims celebrated their  harvest  in  the  New  World.  The
      Pilgrims were English colonists who had founded a  permanent  European
      settlement at Plymouth  Massachusetts.  By  the  1750's,  this  joyous
      celebration was brought to Nova Scotia by American settlers  from  the

      At the same time,  French  settlers,  having  crossed  the  ocean  and
      arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain,  also  held  huge
      feasts of thanks. They even formed  "The  Order  of  Good  Cheer"  and
      gladly shared their food with their Indian neighbours.

      After the Seven Year's War ended in 1763, the citizens of Halifax held
      a special day of Thanksgiving.

      The Americans who remained faithful to the government in England  were
      known as Loyalists. At the time of the American revolution, they moved
      to canada and spread the Thanksgiving celebration to  other  parts  of
      the country. many of the new English settlers from Great Britain  were
      also used to having a harvest  celebration  in  their  churches  every
      autumn. Eventually in 1879, Parliament declared November 6th a day  of
      Thanksgiving and a national holiday. Over the years  many  dates  were
      used for Thanksgiving, the most popular was the 3rd Monday in October.
      After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated
      on the Monday of the week in which November 11th occurred.  Ten  years
      later, in 1931, the two days became separate  holidays  and  Armistice
      Day was renamed Remembrance  Day.  Finally,  on  January  31st,  1957,
      Parliament proclaimed....
      Now,  more  than  ever,  we're  reminded  to  treasure  our  families,
communities, and the institutions that raise  our  spirits,  help  the  less
fortunate, and express our passions. As we move forward, join us  in  a  new
tradition. This year, during the Thanksgiving holiday, as you come  together
for family, friendship, food and fellowship, celebrate Giving Day.
    . Make a Giving Day commitment to support your  favorite  cause  with  a
      gift of time or money
    . Express your values, compassion, and passions with your loved ones  by
      sharing your Giving Day commitment at Thanksgiving dinner
    . Build a new tradition by encouraging others to celebrate Giving Day

|Thanksgiving Day                                                   |
|The English Puritans were trying to "purify" the Church of England,|
|but finally they formed their own church. They left England and    |
|went to Holland and then to America. They became "Pilgrims" because|
|they were travels in search of religious freedom.                  |
|In the fall of 1620 the Pilgrims crossed the Atlantic Ocean on     |
|their ship, the Mayflower. The trip was very difficult, and many   |
|people got sick. But while they were on the crowded ship, the      |
|Pilgrims agreed on a form of government for their new colony. This |
|agreement, the Mayflower Compact, established the principles of    |
|voting and majority rule.                                          |
|Finally on December 22 the travels landed the Plymouth,            |
|Massachusetts. There as not enough food for the long, cold winter, |
|and many settlers died. Then some friendly Indians, Samoset, Chief |
|Massasoit, and Squanto, showed to the Pilgrims how to hunt, fish,  |
|and plant corn, beans, and other foods. Because of their help, the |
|Plymouth settlers had a good harvest the next fall.                |
|Governor William Bradford declared some special day of             |
|thanksgiving. The Pilgrims and the Indians had three-day feast of  |
|deer, wild turkey and fish. There were also nuts, corn, beans,     |
|pumpkins wild fruits, cranberries, and other foods. The first      |
|Thanksgiving celebration was a great success.                      |
|President Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as an official  |
|national holiday. Now every year on the fourth Thursday of November|
|American families and friends gather, have a feast, and give       |
|thanks. Some traditional Thanksgiving food are turkey, dressing,   |
|sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.                  |

                           Turkey Noodle Casserole

    . 1 pkg frozen peas, thawed under cool running water (10 ounce)
    . 2 cups diced cooked turkey (or ham)
    . 1 1/2 cups cooked noodles
    . butter or margarine
    . 1/4 cup chopped onion
    . 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
    . 1 can (10 1/2-ounce) cream of mushroom soup
    . 1/2 cup milk
    . salt, to taste
    . 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
    . 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    . 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Combine turkey, noodles, and peas in  a  2-quart  buttered  casserole  dish.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Sautй onion  and  mushrooms;  blend
in soup, milk  and  seasonings.  Pour  soup  mixture  over  meat;  top  with
shredded cheese. Bake in a 350 degree F. for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Serves 4.

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