Thanksgiving History and Traditions 感恩节的历史和传统


为什么我们庆祝感恩节

在1621年,美国人举行的第一个感恩节,用了三天时间来举行一个欢庆宴会。在这前一年,是英国清教徒到达普利茅斯所经历的第一个冬天。那寒冷的冬天几乎夺去将一半新移民的生命。

等到第二年的丰收,他们就要理由来庆贺一番了。而且美国人也与他们的邻居,当地的万帕诺格人(印第安人中的一族 - 译者注)签了和平协议。 他们的领袖梅西索特教了美国人如何在这新大陆种植,于是就有了这一年的大丰收。按照英国清教徒的习惯,他们决定用庆祝丰收来纪念上帝的丰富供应。

绝大部分的记载既没有说到火鸡也没有讲到南瓜,那两样我们现在感恩节所用的主要原料,而印第安人的玉米却在那时倒是很丰富。为了招待梅西索特和他的90位部下,四位有勇气的家庭主妇主理了那丰富的宴席;而梅西索特为宴席带来了五只鹿。

据推测,那些英国清教徒新移民按照英国当时的习惯,以自助餐的形式招待他们的印第安邻居。盘子都是放在餐桌上,然而大家自己动手。那时,没有叉子,只有餐用刀、勺子和很大的餐巾。餐巾是用来拿很烫的食物和擦脸、擦手的。人们可以直接就从厨房里拿出来的盘子里吃,也可以几个人合用一个木头的盘子。在开始吃以前都必须祷告,因为那些英国清教徒都相信他们所有的一切都是上帝所赐的。

在一七七七年,当新大陆议会宣布了第一个国定的感恩节,这就把类似于当初在新英格兰举行的庆祝会活动变成了一个莓年一次的活动。在著名作家和编辑莎拉·约瑟芬经过23年的游说以后,林肯总统终于在一八六三年宣布感恩节为国定假日。

在当时的英国清教徒与万帕诺格人和平共处的欢庆宴会所流传的故事中,包含了新英格兰地区的食品:火鸡、红莓和南瓜。现在这些食品就成为感恩节的典型食品。

美国的传统

在感恩节,美国人通常会有五样传统的活动。您知道多少?

1. 火鸡的香味 - 根据美国火鸡联合会统计,在全美国有91%在人们在感恩节吃火鸡。自从当初在新英格兰庆祝的惯例,火鸡就是感恩节的一个很持久的标志。在美国南方,人们喜欢吃油炸火鸡,而在美国的北方传统是吃烤火鸡。无论美国人是怎样烹调火鸡,在感恩节一天,全美国会消耗六万七千五百万镑火鸡。

2. 与别人共享 - 当美国人聚集在一起来分享这一年的丰硕成果和恩典的时候,人们也常常邀请那些不太幸运人们来一起共享。义工们聚集在一个为大众煮饭的餐厅里,为人们提供免费的感恩节晚餐,把人们的感恩回归社区。如果要知道怎样参与这些义工,请看“慈善事业和义工”部分。

3. 欣赏橄榄球比赛 - 当大家都在感恩节大餐上吃得饱饱的以后,很多人就坐下来看橄榄球比赛。自从1870年代开始,美国人就在感恩节那天看橄榄球比赛。在1893年,一位讽刺记者写道,感恩节是一个被全国确立为看橄榄球比赛的节日。

4. 看大游行 - 在看橄榄球比赛之外,美国人还聚在一起看最大和最著名之一的梅西感恩节大游行。无论你是在电视前看,还是亲自到纽约身历其中地享受,那一次的游行必定会看到很多气球。大腿舞和坐在雪橇上的圣诞老人。纽约客和游客会在游行前一天的晚上,根据他们所得到有关游行队伍如何表演的消息,就把看游行的好位置都给占据了。

5. 许个愿 - 自从伊特鲁利亚人开始就有拉断火鸡、鸡和其他家禽许愿骨的游戏。所以在吃火鸡的时候就会问,谁吃到了许愿骨因为罗马人把这个习惯带到了英国,然而英国人又把这个习惯带到了美国。


讨论问题:

1.  哪一个节日是与家人、朋友一起聚餐庆祝的最佳假日?有哪些传统的庆祝?

2.  感恩节不仅是火鸡、美式足球(橄榄球)赛和游行 - 感恩节是关于在这一年里你所受到的祝福。在这一年里,你有什么感恩的事项吗?为什么有这样的感恩?



Wishbone
许愿骨


Why Do We Celebrate?
America's first Thanksgiving, in 1621, was a three-day celebration of feasting and recreation. The prior year was the Pilgrims' first winter at Plymouth, and it was so harsh almost half of the colonists perished.

By the second harvest, there was reason to rejoice. A peace treaty was signed with the Wampanoag, the Pilgrims' Native American neighbors. And Massasoit, their leader, shared his agricultural expertise, which resulted in a bumper crop. As was common in England, where the Pilgrims originated, they chose to commemorate their bounty with a harvest festival.

Most accounts of the actual event mention neither turkey nor pumpkin, our modern Thanksgiving staples. Indian corn was plentiful, however. Four valiant Pilgrim housewives supervised the feast that Massasoit and 90 of his people attended, bringing five deer as their contribution to the communal table.

Presumably, the Pilgrims followed the English custom of the day and served their neighbors buffet-style; dishes were placed on the table and guests helped themselves. There were no forks, only knives, spoons, and large napkins that were used to pick up hot foods and to tidy the face and fingers. Food could be eaten directly from the serving dish or you could share a trencher (wooden plate). No meal could begin without saying grace, since the Pilgrims believed that their good fortune was due to their relationship to God.

Similar New England harvest festivals evolved into an annual tradition, officially acknowledged in 1777, when the Continental Congress declared the first national Thanksgiving. President Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863, after 23 years of lobbying by Sarah Josepha Hale, an acclaimed author and editor.

The regional foods of New England, including turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin, came to be identified with the holiday, as did the inspirational story of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe feasting and coexisting in peace.

Our National Traditions
These are the five most common activities Americans traditionally enjoy on Thanksgiving Day. How many does your family do?

1. Savoring the Bird According to the National Turkey Federation, 91 percent of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving. Dating back to New England harvest traditions, eating turkey is the enduring symbol of the holiday. In the South, some prefer their turkey deep-fried rather than roasted in the traditional Yankee fashion. No matter how the turkey is prepared, Americans will eat approximately 675 million pounds of turkey alone this holiday.

2. Reaching Out As Americans gather together to share the year's bounty, families also reach out to those less fortunate. Volunteering at soup kitchens is a time-honored way to express our thanks and give back to the community. For more information on how to volunteer, go to "Charities and Volunteering."

3. Taking Time Out -- For Football When everyone is full from the groaning Thanksgiving table, many folks settle in for football. Americans have been playing and watching football on Thanksgiving since the 1870s. One sarcastic reporter noted in 1893, "Thanksgiving...is a holiday granted by...the Nation to see a game of football."

4. Watching the Big Parade In addition to the big football games, Americans gather around to watch one of the biggest and most famous parades, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Whether you watch it on TV or go to New York City to see it in person, the day would not be complete without the balloons, the Rockettes, and Santa on his sleigh. Locals and visitors alike congregate the night before the parade to watch the floats as they're inflated and to stake out a place for great sight lines the next morning.

5. Making a Wish Who gets the wishbone in your family? Ever since the Etruscans, people have been pulling apart the forked bone from a turkey, chicken or other fowl and making a wish. The Romans brought the tradition with them when they conquered England and the English brought it to America.

Source http://www.bhg.com/holidays/thanksgiving/crafts/thanksgiving-history-and-traditions/?page=1


Discussion Questions:

1.      What is your favorite holiday that is celebrated with family, friends, and food? What are some of the traditions of that celebration?

2.      Thanksgiving is not just about turkey, football, and parades -- it is about being thankful of the blessings you have received this year. What are you thankful for this year? Why?

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