Thanksgiving With Soma Tech Intl
- Origins of a National Holiday
- First Thanksgiving menu
- Thanksgiving Controversies
- Traditions and Rituals
- Thanksgiving with Soma Tech Intl
- Final Thought
As the autumn foliage becomes ever more prominent, the incoming winter season looming, the savory scent of roast turkey and sweet pumpkin pies, November 25th is Thanksgiving. Amongst Americans, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is celebrated to commemorate the first shared autumn feast between the Plymouth colonists and the native Wampanoag tribe in 1621. Aside from the historical significance, most Americans attribute Thanksgiving to a day of reflecting and being thankful amongst family and friends.
Here at Soma, we continue the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving Eve amongst our employees as one big family.
ORIGINS OF A NATIONAL HOLIDAY
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home, religious freedom, and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the “New World”. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring as many died from contagious diseases and brutal winter weather. By March, the remaining Pilgrims settled ashore where they received visits from members of the nearby tribes. One of these early visits was from a prominent native–Squanto, from the Patuxet tribe. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, and avoid poisonous plants amongst other things. He also helped the settlers ally with the local Wampanoag tribe.
In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of their native allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as America’s ‘first Thanksgiving”, the festival lasted for three days.
FIRST THANKSGIVING MENU
Although there is no record of the first Thanksgiving’s exact menu, historians suggest that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. The 1621 harvest celebration had a menu of venison, corn, shellfish, cornmeal, beans, nuts, dried berries, pumpkin—and yes, turkey.
Culinary historians also suggest that the Pilgrims and Native Americans likely hunted and served wildfowl, like geese, duck, or turkey. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes, or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.
Indeed, historians have recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America that predate the Pilgrims. In 1565, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé invited members of the local Timucua tribe to a feast in St. Augustine, Florida after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival.
Some Native Americans and many others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their views, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people. Ultimately, this has masked the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands. Since 1970, protestors have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.
TRADITIONS AND RITUALS
In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been an offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621.
Today, however, nearly 90% of Americans eat the bird – whether roasted, baked, or deep-fried – on Thanksgiving. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some millions of spectators and an enormous television audience.
THANKSGIVING WITH SOMA TECH INTL
This year’s SOMA Thanksgiving Eve, all employees gather together with gratitude and thankfulness for a steady prosperous year amidst such a turbulent year brought on by the pandemic. Most employees brought their signature dishes such as:
- Roasted Turkey
- Roasted Salmon
- Mashed Potatoes
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Corn Bread
- Corn Soufflé
- Lam Fried Rice
- Acorn Squash
- Tomato Soup
- Potato Salad
- Cranberry Walnut Salad
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Chocolate Cream Pies
Regardless of the savory and delicious foods that are added to the menu, Thanksgiving is a significant day to reflect and remind ourselves of the importance of being thankful and showing gratitude. It is a time when we all gather together in solidarity and unity with loved ones. On behalf of everyone here at SOMA Tech Intl, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving holiday!
Did you enjoy this article? How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year? What traditions do you have during Thanksgiving? Please feel free to share your comments below!