Sitting back in your recliner, watching a football game while you digest an amazing meal of turkey, veggies, bread and pie you realize Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays in the world. You think to yourself as you settle into a nap, “Whoever thought of this must have been a genius.” But who did think of it? While we consider Thanksgiving to be a uniquely American holiday, the truth is harvest festivals similar to this phenomenon happened all over the ancient world.
Greeks and Grain
Ancient Greeks believed everything to do with the land came from the blessings of the gods and goddesses they worshipped. Demeter, a fertility goddess was honored every year at harvest time with a festival called Thesmophoria. This three day thanksgiving festival encourages married women to build huts on the first day and fill them full of grain and fruit to show their thankfulness for the abundance they have been given. The second day is set aside for fasting and remembering what life would be like without the gifts of food, and the final day is a village wide feast asking Demeter to bless them more with harvest and fertility.
A practice in...