The first Thanksgiving was in the fall of 1621, involving a three-day feast during which the pilgrims who sailed to America gave thanks for the bountiful harvest. It also served to thank the natives who helped them survive the first year.
However, Thanksgiving did not begin to be an American tradition until years later.
This holiday has been celebrated in the United States since 1863, when President Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday to be celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in November.
According to www.wilstar.com, because the early settlers did not have access to most of the traditional Thanksgiving food of today, they most likely ate boiled pumpkin, fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison and plums.
For some, today’s traditional Thanksgiving food includes mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, rolls, stuffing and turkey.
Some students will celebrate the holiday by eating the traditional Thanksgiving food.
“My mom’s not really much of a cook, so we just do the basics,” said Nicole Gwynn, a senior studying psychology.
Other students have different Thanksgiving food traditions they share with their families and loved ones.
“My aunt always makes this popcorn cake. She just makes caramel corn popcorn and then puts dot candy in it and then puts it in a mold,” said Rylee Nelson, a freshman studying biology. “We pretty much do it every Thanksgiving.”
Some other Thanksgiving food traditions include different types of Jell-O.
“We have a Jell-O that has pretzels on top of it. It’s red and it’s got cranberries and pretzels and carrots,” said Jamilyn Austin, a freshman studying medical assisting. “I don’t like it, but we always have it.”
Lisee Abbott, a freshman studying mechanical engineering, also has a family food tradition.
“We make ‘Heavenly Jell-O,’ except it’s not really called ‘Heavenly Jell-O.’ It’s cottage cheese and Cool Whip and orange Jell-O,” Abbott said. “We take turns making it, because it’s our favorite and it’s the easiest thing to do.”
Some students were surprised by others’ traditions for Thanksgiving.
“It was really weird for me to come out west and to see the whole Jell-O with the fruit in it, and the 20 million different flavors of pie and the funeral potatoes,” said Erin McMahon, a sophomore from New York studying music education.
Aaron Putich, a sophomore from South Carolina studying mechanical engineering, has a southern tradition for Thanksgiving.
“We have ham and greasy rice. You cook a ham, and you take the drippings from the ham and you cook the rice in it. It’s a southern thing,” Putich said.
Hannah Drees, a freshman majoring in general studies, has a family tradition that started because of her cousin.
“We do this one thing, but it’s because my cousin has a potato allergy. My family’s into healthy stuff, so they make mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes,” Drees said. “We always have that. It’s kind of weird.”
Sara Ainscough, a junior studying communication, and her roommates had an early Thanksgiving dinner and put bacon on top of the turkey.
“We did it to add flavor, and because why not? It’s bacon,” Ainscough said.
Some students have ideas for foods they would like to try at Thanksgiving.
“I’ve always wanted to buy a turducken, but they’re pretty expensive. It’s a Cornish game hen in a chicken in a duck in a turkey,” said Brent Whipple, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering.