On November 22, Americans will once again take time out from their busy lives to celebrate a national holiday of Thanksgiving. In 1863, the fourth Thursday in November was chosen by President Lincoln as a day of national thanksgiving. However, the history of setting aside a special time dedicated to a celebration of thanksgiving goes back much further than that.
The earliest account of a day dedicated to giving thanks can be found in the Hebrew faith, in the celebration of Sukkot, or “The Feast of Booths” (tabernacles). The feast was celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei, which falls late September to late October, as the Jewish people used a lunar calendar. The holiday lasted seven days and the participants built booths or shelters of palms to remember the fragile dwellings the Israelites lived in during their forty-year pilgrimage from Egypt to the Promised Land. Sukkot was also a celebration of thanksgiving for the harvest that would keep the people fed throughout the winter.
The origin of our American Thanksgiving is surrounded by myth and legend, according to MayFlowerHistory.com. However, it is a fact that the Pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth Rock in December of 1620 had a celebration in the fall of 1621 in thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest.Their first year had been devastating, with the loss of 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower. However, things turned around with an abundant harvest the following fall, and the remaining colonist decided to celebrate with a feast, that included many natives who had helped them get survive.
In 1789, President George Washington proclaimed the first Thursday in November as a day of national Thanksgiving; but it wasn’t until 1863 that the fourth Thursday in November was proclaimed as the official date of celebration. According to a close friend, as Lincoln was walking through the thousands of graves at Gettysburg, he was profoundly affected and at that point he committed his life to Christ. As he explained to his friend: “When I left Springfield I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.” In 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday in November as a national holiday.
Celebrations of thanksgiving around the world are usually based on the time the crops are brought in. Our Canadian friends celebrate it in October, given that they are farther north and the harvest is gathered earlier than in the lower 48. The Canadian Thanksgiving was officially proclaimed in 1957, when the Canadian Parliament declared “a Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”
Of all the celebrations around the world, we would like to highlight Thanksgiving in the Netherlands. After leaving England and before arriving in the New World, the Pilgrims lived in the city of Leiden, The Netherlands. Consequently, on the morning of American Thanksgiving a non-denominational thanksgiving service is held each year in the Pieterskerk, a Gothic church in Leiden, to commemorate the hospitality the Pilgrims received in Leiden on their way to the New World.
Before closing, we want to express our thankfulness for all the truckers who work so hard delivering the goods that we all need. We hope you enjoyed this article and that you and your families have a bountiful, blessed Thanksgiving!
Click here to comment.
For more help, see your doctor or therapist. Check out our Resources Partners when you click this link or click here to contact us. You can also call our toll-free Trucker Prayer Line at 1-877-797-PRAY (7729). We’re here for you.
Want to help? You can help us get the word out about www.driverswellness.com by forwarding a link of this blog to your trucker friends and family.
Send an e-mail to DWBlog@driverswellness.com to subscribe to this blog for free. These messages are brought to you by Drivers Wellness, an initiative of Transport For Christ. If you would like to give a donation to help us reach drivers, click here.
Disclaimer: The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or care. Further, it is not intended to be a substitute for physician’s advice. Always see the advice of a licensed physician concerning any question you have regarding any content obtained from this blog and any medical condition you believe may be relevant to you or someone else. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet, or fitness program.