Enjoy this feature piece from our very own Ann Morrow. Ann's deep dive into the fascinating history of the mistletoe gives a particularly unique outlook on this iconic holiday piece - evoking a consideration that you may not have had before!
For more interesting and educational articles on a variety of important topics, be sure to subscribe and check out our NOV-DEC 2022 issue!
😍 👉 New Mexico's INFLUENCE Magazine wishes you and your family, friends, and loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving! Be safe, eat well, and give thanks and gratitude for all we have. 🦃 🥂 🌽
The origins of Thanksgiving:
Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is sometimes called American Thanksgiving (outside the United States) to distinguish it from the Canadian holiday of the same name and related celebrations in other regions. It originated as a day of thanksgiving and harvest festival, with the theme of the holiday revolving around giving thanks and the centerpiece of Thanksgiving celebrations remaining a Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner traditionally consists of foods and dishes indigenous to the Americas, namely turkey, potatoes (usually mashed or sweet), stuffing, squash, corn (maize), green beans, cranberries (typically in sauce form), and pumpkin pie. Other Thanksgiving customs include charitable organizations offering Thanksgiving dinner for the poor, attending religious services, watching parades, and viewing football games. In American culture, Thanksgiving is regarded as the beginning of the fall-winter holiday season, which includes Christmas and the New Year.
New England and Virginia colonists originally celebrated days of fasting, as well as days of thanksgiving, thanking God for blessings such as harvests, ship landings, military victories, or the end of a drought. These were observed through church services, accompanied by feasts and other communal gatherings. The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days and was attended by 90 Wampanoag Native American people and 53 Pilgrims (survivors of the Mayflower). Less widely known is an earlier Thanksgiving celebration in Virginia in 1619 by English settlers who had just landed at Berkeley Hundred aboard the ship Margaret.
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New Mexico's INFLUENCE Magazine is kicking off the month of November with the recognition of Native American Heritage Month! For the whole month, we will be posting weekly interesting and new information about Native American culture, people, and beliefs. It's our intention to honor and uplift the Native American people and their many achievements and accomplishments.
Some history for your reading pleasure:
On August 3, 1990, President of the United States George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month, thereafter commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. The bill read in part that "the President has authorized and requested to call upon Federal, State, and local Governments, groups, and organizations and the people of the United States to observe such month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities".
This landmark bill honoring America's tribal people represented a major step in the establishment of this celebration which began in 1976, when a Cherokee/Osage Indian named Jerry C. Elliott-High Eagle authored the Native American Awareness Week legislation: the first historical week of recognition in the nation for native peoples. This led to activity in 1986, with then President Ronald Reagan proclaiming November 23–30, 1986, as "American Indian Week".
This commemorative month aims to provide a platform for Native people in the United States of America to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life. This gives Native people the opportunity to express to their community, city, county, and state officials their concerns and solutions for building bridges of understanding and friendship in their local area. Federal Agencies are encouraged to provide educational programs for their employees regarding Native American history, rights, culture, and contemporary issues, to better assist them in their jobs and for overall awareness.
Meike Schwarz and the Editorial team at New Mexico's INFLUENCE Magazine