People in Great Britain began to celebrate ‘Harvest Festival’ long ago. Once there happened in 1843 that Robert Hawker organized a particular thanksgiving service for the parishioners of one church in Cornwall. Since that year people were used to adorning churches with various fruits and vegetables. At those times everything in the person’s life depends on the obtained crops. The inhabitants of the country asked the God about fecundity proposing him the first sheaf of corn.
They hoped it would help them to receive a good crop in the following summer. There existed also the custom of animal sacrifice, usually a hare, along with the taking the last sheaf of corn. People believed it saved its soul. They made ‘corn dolls’ as a token of the Goddess of grain. There was prepared a big dinner for all members of the community. The fiesta was organized annually on September Sunday the nearest to the harvest moon. But it wasn’t announced the state holiday.
This festival is popular among the villagers all over the country even nowadays. Kids are occupied with singing hymns, they are presented with various fruits and vegetables. The agricultural products are also allotted to the members of the community.
Thanksgiving in the South is really splendid! As for the United States Thanksgiving is the festivities organized on the fourth Thursday of November to express gratitude to God for the rich crops. The Second October Monday is the day of Thanksgiving in Canada. People in the United Kingdom marked the so called ‘Harvest Festival’ and gather in the churches on a Sunday after the crops has been garnered.
The newcomers couldn’t forget their customs in America and shared their gladness during the first Thanksgiving with the native population. It occurred in 1775 that John Hanson, President of the Continental Congress, announced Thanksgiving Day a state festival. The Continental Congress proceeded in declaring thanksgiving dates annually, but not in 1777. It was George Washington who did it in that year and then in 1789 and 1795.
I can’t forget our Southern Thanksgiving dinner that the mother cooked at our house in North Carolina. The principal dish was a large turkey and a large ham. Mother covered put them into the oven and held them for a long time with little fire covered with tinfoil. The turkey was stuffed with various products making it awfully tasty. Dressings were natural juices. And the turkey was accompanied with the vegetables grown in our kitchen garden and mother managed to preserve them in frozen or canned state.