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Thanksgiving – Transition into Armenian Style!

Thanksgiving – Transition into Armenian Style!

A very close friend of mine once said, “why wait for November to celebrate Thanksgiving if you can be grateful to your life every day.

Whether it is a Thanksgiving or a Friendsgiving one should always be grateful. Grateful living can have many positive effects on one’s health and well-being. 

I have never celebrated Thanksgiving in Armenia. My first Thanksgiving was in 2019 when I first moved to Boston. Seeing how Americans are preparing for this holiday made me wonder and go to the origins of the holiday itself. My research showed Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on different dates (the third Thursday of November). Mostly, Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia. It has originally began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. 

History Of Thanksgiving

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious definition; instead, it now concentrated on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Those family members who live far away or haven’t been home for a long time, travel miles in order to be home and celebrate Thanksgiving with their families.

Thanksgiving – Transition into Armenian Style!

In many Armenian families living in the United States, the tradition of American Thanksgiving has passed through them as well. Most Armenian households aside from making stuffed turkey, the symbol of Thanksgiving, make Armenian popular “Ghapama”. This delicious pumpkin dish stuffed with rice, raisins, fruits, and spices even has a song devoted to it, “Hey Jan Ghapama. A lot of Armenians mix different Armenian dishes during this day to make the Thanksgiving table richer.

As I am writing, many of you are preparing for Thanksgiving, and every year it is partially different but in the meantime has its uniqueness as it is another chance to gather all family members together and enjoy our delicious Armenian food (mixed with American).

Follow these amazing Armenian food and drink companies from different locations and see how are they celebrating Thanksgiving with Armenian style.

What is on your menu for this Thanksgiving?