Another modern staple at almost every Thanksgiving table is the customary ‘Pumpkin Pie’. It is pumpkin was one of the dishes in the first thanksgiving dinner. Pilgrims probably made a pumpkin dish sweetened with honey or syrup. They were however a part of all traditional meals long before the arrival of pilgrims. Pumpkin leaves were also used as salads. According to historians, other seasonal vegetables included squash. People at that time were not particularly fond of vegetables, they were mostly meat eaters. Pumpkin is one of the important symbols of the harvest festival and has been an American-favourite for over 400 years now.
The celebration of Thanksgiving will be incomplete without the legendary Turkey. It derives its name from the ‘turk turk’ sounds it makes when scared. Turkey was at one time being considered as the national symbol of America. Benjamin Franklin felt that turkey was the right choice because it was a good runner and had a sharp sight. A bald eagle later became the national symbol of America.
Corn is one of the popular symbols of thanksgiving. It came in many varieties and colours-red, white, yellow and blue. Some Americans considered blue and white corn sacred. It is said that native Americans had been growing corn a long time before the pilgrims arrived in their country. The oldest corns date 7000 years back and were grown in Mexico. Americans taught pilgrims how to grow corn and help them survive the bitter winter of 1620. It is certain that corn were a part of the first thanksgiving dinner.
The tradition continues and corn finds its place on every dinner table world over during thanksgiving dinner. Ornamental Corncobs are quite popular during the festival. They are used to decorate dining tables and make harvest wreaths- A popular gift item among Americans. Ornamental popcorns are also widely used. Corn reminds us of the importance and heritage of the famous harvest festival. It also remains America’s foundation of ‘Modern-Agriculture ‘.
Cranberry, is a symbol and a modern diet staple of thanksgiving. Originally called crane berry, it derived its name from its pink blossoms and drooping head which reminded the pilgrim of a crane. The name was later changed to what is popularly known as Cranberry. Pilgrims soon found out a way to sweeten the bitten cranberries with maple sugar. Ever since cranberry sauce is a permanent companion of turkey during thanksgiving feast.
Cornucopia is the most common symbol of a harvest festival. A Horn shaped container, it is filled with abundance of the Earth’s harvest. It is also known as the ‘horn of plenty’. The traditional cornucopia was a curved goat’s horn filled to brim with fruits and grains. According to Greek legend, Amalthea (a goat) broke one of her horns and offered it to Greek God Zeus as a sign of reverence. As a sign of gratitude, Zeus later set the goat’s image in the sky also known as constellation Capricorn. I bet you must take a great , and maybe you can put them full of your golf bags.
Beans are a special symbol of thanksgiving. Native Americans are believed to have taught the pilgrims to grow beans next to cornstalks. This was so that beans could grow and use cornstalks as their pole. Thus American beans are also known as ‘Pole Beans’. Famously known as one of the ‘Three sisters’, beans are a part of thanksgiving feast.