A long time ago in the 1600’s, religious persecution was a problem in England. Some people wanted a pure religion, with no politics involved. They wanted to be free to practice their religion.
These people moved from England on a ship. There were only 100 people on the ship. They wanted to be free in North America. They were the ‘Pilgrims’.
The first year in North America was very difficult. It was cold. It was difficult to plant. Many Pilgrims died.
But the American Indians helped Pilgrims. The Indians were very intelligent. They invented a technique to fertilize the land using fish. What? Fish??! Yes, fish!!
With fish, it was easy to cultivate the land and the Pilgrims produced a good crop. To celebrate the abundance of vegetables and food in general, Pilgrims did a ‘Feast’ with a looooot of food.
Pilgrims invited the Indians to celebrate too – and to eat. Pilgrims and Indians celebrated friendship for 3 days!
This is the origin of ‘Thanksgiving’ in North America. Every year, on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans say ‘Thank you’ to people who help them. People eat special foods with their family and friends to celebrate life.
* Learn more about American Celebrations at World English Intro- Unit 11 and expand your Thanksgiving culture.
* Read more about Thanksgiving at http://www.coolfactsforkids.com/thanksgiving-facts-for-kids/