“Our family doesn’t really discuss the origins of Thanksgiving that much”
Note how this article describes Thanksgiving as a “controversial” holiday. Doesn’t that explain so much about how younger people might view the history behind the celebration?
The Snapper reports:
Survey reveals college students celebrate but know little about Thanksgiving
The majority of college students celebrate Thanksgiving, but received minimal education on its origins, a recent survey says. The survey, conducted by editors at The Snapper, asked young people from across the country about their views, education and traditions surrounding the controversial Fall holiday.
For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving is one of the largest and most highly anticipated holidays of the year. Held on the fourth Thursday of each November, Thanksgiving today marks an opportunity for people to relax and settle down as they reunite with their loved ones and celebrate what they are grateful or “thankful” for.
“We celebrate just to gather with family we haven’t seen in a long time and to eat together,” says Michael Smith-Taylor, a sophomore at Millersville University, who filled out the survey.
A Millersville student named Bree also stated that Thanksgiving is “just a tradition … we always enjoy the food and getting together. It’s dying down, but we have done it every year so it would be odd to stop.”
Although Thanksgiving is a major federal holiday, it appears to not be a huge favorite among students, mostly due to concerns over its origins and lack of education or sincerity in understanding and valuing the holiday. While 90% of the survey’s respondents claim they and their families celebrate Thanksgiving, an estimated 70% received either inaccurate or minimal information on the holiday’s purpose and history, if at all.
“Our family doesn’t really discuss the origins of Thanksgiving that much,” says Becca Hoyer, a freshman at Arcadia University. “Perhaps we should be more aware and change the way we think about it.”
Even today, historians debate the exact origins of the day designated to “give thanks,” however most trace “Turkey day” back to colonial times. As far back as the early 17th century, European settlers in Virginia and New England participated in days of fasting to appeal to God, and also held feasts to celebrate the harvest season, when crops were most plentiful, especially in times of devastation and death due to the harsh conditions of living in unfamiliar and undeveloped land.
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