Can you ever imagine a Thanksgiving Day without a big roasted turkey on the dinner table or a dinner table without a pumpkin pie? We know it is hard to differentiate a regular dinner from a Thanksgiving Day dinner without these things. It's like having a Christmas without the Christmas tree or Santa Claus. Let us have a look at how these food items became traditional Thanksgiving Day symbols. When the English colonists reached America, they found out that the place was full of the native Red Indians who ate turkey for food. The Natives welcomed these well dressed people and treated them with the harvest and fowls. The feast celebrated the first harvest of the season and hence included all the fruits of the harvest, which, in turn, became the symbols of the Thanksgiving Day. Listed below are a few symbols of Thanksgiving Day. Read on to know more about them.
Thanksgiving Day Symbols
A turkey is the first and foremost symbol of Thanksgiving as one cannot imagine a Thanksgiving without a big fat turkey on the dinner table. A Thanksgiving feast photograph will be incomplete if the family is sitting around a dinner table with no turkey on it. Carving a Thanksgiving turkey is a tradition which is a must for celebrating the occasion. The turkey on the dinner table symbolizes the "four fat turkeys" which were served to the pilgrims by the Native Americans on the first Thanksgiving. Such is the importance that without singing the turkey song, the celebration of Thanksgiving is considered incomplete.
Cornucopia is shaped in form of a horn or a conical hat. In fact, one can not guess its use till one is told so. The cornucopia is a horn-shaped container which stores the profusion of the harvest. The traditional cornucopia which was used during the early Thanksgiving Days used to be a big curved horn of the mountain goat filled with the fruit of harvest and grains. The legend behind this tradition tells that once there used to be a goat who to please Zeus, the presiding God of Olympus, broke one of its horn and offered it to him. Pleased by the goat's deed, Zeus later set the image of the goat in the sky. This image is better known to people now days as the Capricorn constellation.
Another symbol which is seen on the dinner table is corn. Corn is a staple crop which was cultivated by the Native Americans even before the pilgrims met them. The Native Americans were the one who taught the pilgrims how to grow corn so that they could sustain in rough weather conditions. Thus, corn was a part of the harvest which was added to the dinner table at the first Thanksgiving. It is from then that corn became the foundation of America's modern agriculture. The tradition has continued since then until the present day. Every household has a corn cob present on table while celebrating Thanksgiving.
As Thanksgiving is celebrated in remembrance of the feast that was given to the pilgrims by the Native Americans, effort is taken so that the dinner table exudes the same look which was set at that first Thanksgiving. Pumpkin, thus, has been a part of the Thanksgiving since then. At earlier Thanksgivings, pumpkin was consumed in one way or another. In the present times, the most popular pumpkin dish served on almost every Thanksgiving table is the pumpkin pie.
Beans are one of the most popular symbols of Thanksgiving. The story has that the Native Americans were the ones who taught the pilgrims to grow the beans near the cornstalks, so that the beans could vine on the cornstalks for support. Beans, thus, are an important symbol of the Thanksgiving celebration. Beans were among the few harvests which the Native Americans cultivated.
Cranberries are the part of the staple diet of the Thanksgiving holiday. These crimson berries were formerly known as 'Crane Berry', because of its pink blossoms and drooping head exactly like a crane. Pilgrims were the one who found out the edible qualities of the cranberries by mixing maple sugar to it. Since then, the cranberry sauce became the staple partner of turkey at Thanksgiving feasts.
There are a few things without which the Thanksgiving Day seems incomplete. Hence, the feast always includes the above mentioned things giving the table a wholesome look. Over the years, these have become integral symbols of the feast.