It’s time to thank the Almighty as it’s Thanksgiving Day

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2010, 13:01 PM IST

Gayatri Sankar

A time to rejoice in God’s creations and to thank him for all what he has given us is celebrated as the Thanksgiving Day. It is a time which is solely meant to thank the Almighty by expressing our gratitude and appreciation to him. The auspicious day is treated as a harvest festival across the globe. The day expresses the universal feeling of being grateful to the superpower, governing one and all.

Legend of Thanksgiving tradition

The custom of thanking God on this day dates back to the 16th century. It is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of the month of November. Legend has it that a few pilgrims crossed the Atlantic in the year 1620. Almost 102 people traveled for around two months with great difficulty. They were sailing in a cargo vessel with little space to occupy. They were not allowed to use the deck as the weather was terribly stormy. To sustain the dangerous storms, the pilgrims started singing Psalms, a devotional song.

As they reached the Plymouth Rock on 11th December, after sailing for a little over two months they were unable to proceed towards their ultimate destination. Northern side of Virginia was hit by constant winds, preventing them from moving ahead. Almost 46 pilgrims lost their lives because of the freezing climate. In 1621, a native named Squanto taught them how to cultivate food to survive.

But the summers had something terrible stored for the pilgrims. Drought hit the region and the pilgrims decided to fast for a day to please God and ask for a healthy harvest the following year. Their prayers were heard by the Almighty who saved their corn crops.

The pilgrims by then had learnt to cultivate beans and pumpkin. In the autumn, the people held a get-together to celebrate bountiful harvest. As many as 90 people took part in the gathering which included the Native American Indians. A grand feast was planned to thank God for all what he has given.

Celebrating Thanksgiving Day in India

India, the world’s largest democracy is a secular nation which celebrates all festivals with equal zest and jubilation. It is a nation, which is a conglomeration of a variety of cultures and languages. Thanksgiving Day in India is celebrated with the same fervour and euphoria as it is done across the globe.

Indian’s lifestyle and culture have had a great influence from the West and Thanksgiving Day is one such custom which is quite popular. The state of Goa, which has a thick population of Christians, celebrates the festival with great pomp and show.

The Goans have named the day as ‘Ladin’ or ‘Ladainha’. ‘Ladin’ means a litany to the Virgin Mary.

The occasion is sponsored by someone who has been blessed with abundance of material wealth or by a different person every year. People buy wheat, gram, wine, turkey and pumpkin to start preparing for the festival. Prayers and hymns are chanted as violinists play their instruments.

The Goans also offer the first harvest of milk-fed corn to Mother Mary. Such customary practice is to please the Almighty for a better harvest in the coming years.

The Tradition

The festival unites the community and prayers are offered in unison and so are the traditional practices. The day marks a sense of gratitude in people for all what they possess.

Feasting with the family

One of the most important features of the day is the family feast. The whole family would dine together after offering their prayers collectively to bless them with his grace.

Turkey

A thanksgiving meal is incomplete without a turkey. A stuffed turkey is a must along with pumpkin pie and corns.

Here’s wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving Day. Hope the day seeds in prosperity and well-being of all across the globe.