Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving in Morocco

Thanksgiving in Fez, Morocco
The Thanksgiving holiday is a tradition in both the United States of America and in Canada. It is usual for Americans living outside of the USA to celebrate the day with a turkey dinner followed by pumpkin pie. In Fez this has become an annual event amongst many expats  - and non-Americans are also (thankfully) on the invitation list.
Americans kill more turkeys at Thanksgiving than Moroccans kill sheep at Eid! 

The prize for the most unusual place to celebrate Thanksgiving this year would have to go to actress Sharon Stone, who rode a camel out into the Moroccan dunes.

"Take me to the turkey!"

Sharon Stone found time (and a wifi connection) in the Moroccan desert to post on her Twitter account on November 25. “Our family in Morocco for Thanksgiving”.

Straight after Thanksgiving Stone rode back to civilisation and directly to the Marrakech Film Festival where she is  among the figures that will be honoured at this year's festival

In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly traced to a poorly documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts.

The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England.

Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the "First Thanksgiving", including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631.

According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden.

] In later years, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford, who planned a thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" - Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914)

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