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Cranberry in the Thanksgiving Day tradition

thanksgiving

The history of Thanksgiving Day is intertwined with that of the US. The New England colony was founded by the Pilgrim Fathers on November 11, 1620, when they reached the rocky shores of Massachusetts to freely profess their religious beliefs as Puritans. At first, life for the founding fathers was very hard, as they were caught unprepared by the American winter. It was too late to sow, the ground was frozen, and the settlers did not have enough food to live on. Half of the settlers died of starvation, and it was the local natives who helped them by feeding them wild turkeys, corn, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and berries. The charitable natives belonged to the Wampanoag tribe, who lived along the coasts of the villages that are now the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The Wampanoag moved many times a year to find food: in the spring they fished for salmon and herring, and at the end of the hunting season they took shelter inland in search of protection from the rains. From December to April they lived off the food they had procured in the previous months. After sharing with the surviving pilgrims the food supplies set aside for the winter, the Wampanoag taught them how to cultivate the land in the New World. the following year, following the first fall harvest, the settlers invited their native friends to a feast, with which they thanked God that they had survived. In 1623, settler governor William Bradford decided to commemorate that event by proclaiming Thanksgiving Day. Since that time this holiday has been remembered every year in the American country.

After the American Revolution, the first Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by George Washington, November 26, 1789. Later, Abraham Lincoln set the date of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving Day is the one national holiday that unites all Americans. It is very heartfelt and celebrated with religious services, family gatherings, and traditional meal reminiscent of the first Thanksgiving: turkey, corn, potatoes, pumpkins, and cranberry sauce are the foods that represent the settlers’ survival and today are the symbols of Thanksgiving.

THE CRANBERRY INSTITUTE FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE AMERICAN CRANBERRY

The Cranberry Institute is a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 to support cranberry growers and industry in strategic areas such as agriculture, health care and environmental research. The priority goal is to foster marketing and dissemination of cultural information about the American cranberry. Supporting members voluntarily fund the institute each in proportion to their earnings. All growers who enter into agreements with supporting members also become members, receiving updates on activities carried out by the institute. The Cranberry Institute board of directors consists of 9 members who are part of major cranberry industries.

Source: The Cranberry – A fruit that never ceases to amaze by Mediserve

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