The fourth Thursday in November means that most Americans will be sitting down to a very large meal with their family and friends. If you have any Americans in your office or department make sure to wish them a happy Thanksgiving as I am sure they will appreciate it.
The first Thanksgiving took place in 1621 in Plymouth, one of the first American colonies. The three-day festival was shared between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe to celebrate the first harvest after the Pilgrims arrived in North America. Thanksgiving continued to be celebrated by American colonies and subsequent states until President Lincoln made it a national holiday in 1863.
In modern times, Thanksgiving has become a day for family to gather to kick off the holiday season, have a wonderful meal, and watch some football; professional football on Thanksgiving and university football on Friday (bow down to Washington!). Thanksgiving staples include a roast turkey, mashed potatoes, candies yams, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie… I need to stop there as my mouth is now salivating as I write!
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favourite holidays. Nearly every Thanksgiving my family would pack up our car and drive the twelve hours from Washington state to Sacramento California to my great auntie’s house where 30-40 of my cousins would be waiting. We would always arrive on Wednesday night to ‘bury the bird’, where we would have a large bonfire and then as the fire died we would bury the turkey (in a cast iron pot) in the embers for the next day’s celebrations.
So to end this blog, Happy Thanksgiving from an international student. Being away from home during the holidays is always the hardest, so if you are feeling homesick and are not sure who you can turn to please get in touch with Student Services. They provide counselling and mental health support including groups and workshops. The Wellbeing Service also offer daily drop in sessions where you can speak confidentially to one of their Wellbeing Advisors.
Bonus: a picture of ‘Dubs’ the school mascot from my alma mater, the University of Washington, preparing for the Thanksgiving football game: The Apple Cup against our rival!
See you all on my return - hopefully at the Christmas Festive Celebrations on Wednesday 5 December, 10 West, room 5.07 between 16:00 and 18:00 for music, a quiz and festive wine and food (but not a Brussel Sprout in sight).