Thursday, February 16, 2012

Laughter Yoga— A Fun Way To Good Health by Amy twain

All throughout history of mankind, the celebration of a bountiful and abundant harvest has always been a yearly happening. Harvest festivals have been made a tradition amongst all races, cultures and nations. And long before organized religion came to be, the Greeks, Chinese, Hebrews, Romans and Egyptians have all had their own harvest celebrations.

And in America, the very first Thanksgiving celebration occurred in 1621. Sans the help of the Native Americans, the explorers would not have yielded plentiful crops nor would they have survived their earliest winters. These Native Americans shared and contributed to this occasion with the Pilgrims since the latter had learned how to hunt wild animals and how to plant crops in the New World according to Native American cultures.

The Pilgrim’s festival of harvests is deemed as the original Thanksgiving celebration, but in essence, the term “Thanksgiving” was naturally pertained to a religious holiday till the 19th century. The foremost celebrations in America were not referred to as “Thanksgiving”. It is often thought that seafood was a chief element in the harvest celebration due to the propinquity of the colonists to the Atlantic Ocean.

Thanksgiving Day was officially approved as an annual event by New York State in 1817. In the year 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national holiday of Thanksgiving, so since then each president has given their Thanksgiving Day pronouncement. From the years 1939-1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the 3rd Thursday of November as officially Thanksgiving Day, yet in 1941 The Congress passed a resolution affirming that it was to be held officially during the 4th Thursday in November.

And ever since that time, the holiday has been observed and celebrated on that day. During the early Thanksgiving celebrations, there was harvest merriment which never includes what are staples in current times like the ubiquitous turkey, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. It’s really possible that wild fowl such as duck and turkey were served, but turkey didn’t hold the cherished place as it holds today.

Desserts like cakes and pies were most likely never included due to a lack of sugar and of course, there weren’t ovens in which to bake them, anyway. There could have been some seasonal veggies like squash included in the revelry, but also side dishes also play a big part in the festivities.

Nevertheless, all those traditional foods and dishes served on Thanksgiving Day already evolved and changed over a hundred years of history. More often, the turkey is the only thing in common with the modern Thanksgiving celebrations have with the harvest feasts celebrated by the Pilgrims. Some side dishes such as stuffing and green bean casserole have been the byproducts of the affluence of food supplies and of the modern times.

And not to forget the favorite desserts of all time like the pumpkin pie were not around from the harvest feasts during World War II due to scarcity of sugar. Consequently, the foremost Thanksgiving celebrations were celebrated to rejoice in the survival of the Pilgrims, and of course, of the plentiful harvest—is a fact that we need to remember each year.