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Thanksgiving is one of America’s most treasured holidays and traditions. While there are some constants in the way we observe the day, it can mean different things to different people. The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast in the early days of the American colonies almost 400 years ago. In 1620, a boat filled with more than 100 people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from England to settle in the New World. This religious group had begun to question the beliefs of the Church of England and they wanted to separate from it.

The pilgrims settled in what is now the state of Massachusetts, and their first winter in the New World was difficult. They had arrived too late to grow any crops, and without fresh food, half the colonist died from diseases which the contracted on the voyage from England. The following spring the Iroquois Native Americans befriended the pilgrims and taught them how to grow corn, something the colonist never had done before. They showed them other crops to grow in the unfamiliar soil and how to hunt and fish. In the autumn of 1621, plentiful crops of corn, barley, beans and pumpkins were harvested. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so a feast was planned. They invited the local Native American chief and 90 Indians. The Native Americans brought deer to roast with the turkeys and other wild game offered by the colonists. The colonists had learned how to cook cranberries and different kinds of corn and squash dishes from the Indians. In following years, many of the original colonists celebrated the autumn harvest with a feast of thanks.

Over the years Thanksgiving has evolved into a reunion mainly with family. This tradition has been growing and getting better over the years such as, people have gotten way more creative with their festivity, there has been more food, even add decorations for this feast of thanks.