We all know the story of the Pilgrims and how the first American Thanksgiving came about. What we do not learn or may not know–what the Elementary Schools do not include in their Plays & Skits–is more about the Native Americans & Pagans that influenced Thanksgiving.
For instance, did you know that the tribe of Native Americans that had their meal with the Pilgrims was called Wampanoag? And did you know that they held celebrations and gave thanks to Kiehtan, the Creator ? Not only did they believe that their most precious crop of corn was a blessing from him, but they also gave thanks to many of their other Spirits for the other foods they ate.
Before Thanksgiving was made a holiday in the year of 1861, settlers had already brought their traditions to America—all influenced by Pagans. After all, Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks and harvest…correct?
Celebrating and giving thanks for a Harvest can be seen throughout history in many cultures.
Just to name a few…
*Ancient Rome gave thanks to Ceres, Goddess of the Harvests.
*Ancient Greeks honored Demeter
*Celtic Pagans and Angelo Saxon’s had huge celebrations–Lughnasadh and Mabon. These were to honor the first and second harvest blessed upon them by their Goddess and God.
Lughnasadh marked the beginning of the harvest season, the Harvest of Grain (Bread), the ripening of first fruits (usually berries), and was traditionally a time of community gatherings, market festivals, horse races and reunions with distant family and friends. Wikipedia
Mabon, (pronounced MAY-bun, MAY-bone, MAH-boon, or MAH-bawn) is the Autumn Equinox. The Autumn Equinox divides the day and night equally, and we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark. We also give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year’s crops. The Druids call this celebration, Mea’n Fo’mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth. Resource
Now what could some of the things you’re eating on Thanksgiving symbolized?
(For all Our Kitchen Witches Out there!!!!)
Turkey-– Native Americans–symbolized the Mother Earth and a shared Harvest.
Apples–Celts–rebirth, healing and youth
Pumpkins--Native American– was symbolic of personalized power (in some cultures) and symbolized the sun.
Wishing you a Merry Pagan Thanksgiving!