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Author Topic: How are you Celebrating Thanksgiving as a Pagan?  (Read 6075 times)
RandallS
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« Topic Start: November 20, 2009, 05:33:32 pm »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

[Note: while this question is mainly aimed at our US members as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, if your country has a similar "Thanksgiving" type of holiday, feel free to respond too.]
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« Reply #1: November 20, 2009, 05:44:19 pm »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

[Note: while this question is mainly aimed at our US members as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, if your country has a similar "Thanksgiving" type of holiday, feel free to respond too.]
We have a yearly family reunion at Thanksgiving, where everyone of my dad's side of the family gets together.  It's not really very religion influenced at all, and since I am the only Pagan member of my family, I can't say that paganism really influences the celebration.  The only thing that really echoes of religion is that they say grace at Thanksgiving dinner.  ("Our heavenly father. . ." and so forth)  We do have fairy walks though. We walk around the property at night, looking for fairies, who reveal themselves as tiny specks of colored light.
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« Reply #2: November 20, 2009, 05:51:31 pm »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

[Note: while this question is mainly aimed at our US members as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, if your country has a similar "Thanksgiving" type of holiday, feel free to respond too.]

In my family, Thanksgiving is more or less strictly secular.  There is a small prayer that is sometimes given, but I tend to tune it out.  We are fairly informal in my family, so we don't eat at a table (although that has more to do with the fact that there are so many of us that we need to spread out into separate rooms) and that just makes it easier to not be noticed by the ones that are slightly religious.
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« Reply #3: November 20, 2009, 08:19:40 pm »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

My religion has little to no bearing on the celebration of the holiday. I intend on eating delicious food not cooked by me.  Smiley
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« Reply #4: November 20, 2009, 09:41:32 pm »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

[Note: while this question is mainly aimed at our US members as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, if your country has a similar "Thanksgiving" type of holiday, feel free to respond too.]

Thanksgiving is not a big deal in my family - no surprise, since my father was British, my mother was born in Austria and grew up in the UK, and both of them were only children (and by the time I was born, I had only one grandparent alive, also in the UK.)

Last year, I spent it with my college friends in the Boston area (most cool and wonderful.) This year, one of my friends and former students is hosting me and two other friends for a low-key but likely excellent meal. I'm looking forward to just being able to hang out with them and chat and have no real time constraints or agenda.

(The rest of Thanksgiving break - and we get Wednesday off, too [1] - I am refusing to make any plans for, and expect to nap a lot, read a bunch of books, and catch up on a lot of projects and writing.)

[1] The school I work for used to give students Wednesday off, but require teachers to come in for about 3 hours of professional development time. They finally stopped doing that a few years ago, to everyone's relief and everyone's off on Wednesday, because the only thing worse than working that day is working for not-really-long-enough to make the getting up and driving in, and such worthwhile.
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« Reply #5: November 20, 2009, 11:44:13 pm »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

My religion has absolutely nothing to do with the Exploitation of Indigenous Peoples (and Poultry) Day Wink

What has most strongly influenced my celebration of said day is my biological & semi-biological family. I try to avoid them, to the point of arranging my own kidnapping, shooting myself in the head, faking my own death, you name it. I've moved out-of-state twice to avoid large family holiday celebrations. This year, everyone knows I have four days off, which is horrifying to me, because I can't use work as an excuse, so I'm thinking of hopping on a Greyhound bus & seeing how far $180 will get me (it's all I have left after payday, lol).

My real family are usually my coworkers. I have awesome coworkers (no matter how much they annoy me sometimes), and this past Wednesday we had our EIP(aP) day potluck. It was truly epic, I brought the turkey, and then Thursday for lunch we all stood around our break-room fridge w/forks.

Honestly, though, and all joking aside, this year I'm going to enjoy my four days off - I'm playing WoW with my husband, getting my ironing caught up, catching up on homework, playing with the dog - and not answering my phone!
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« Reply #6: November 20, 2009, 11:49:56 pm »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

[Note: while this question is mainly aimed at our US members as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, if your country has a similar "Thanksgiving" type of holiday, feel free to respond too.]

Hi there!
I always thought Thanksgiving WAS Pagan! It originated in with the Iroquois Confederacy  -- and their powerful influence on the early founders of the USA is well documented. They celebrated Harvest for 4 days -- the Iroquois are a maize culture -- with feasting and games of La Crosse.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be about thanking Mother Earth for everything that we have. Can't get more Pagan than that!

Spiritual people I knew while living in London from the Caribbean lamented the lack of Thanksgiving in England. Unfortunately in the US it become a bit of sitting down, shoveling in affair before the football game.
Cheers!
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« Reply #7: November 21, 2009, 11:56:51 am »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

[Note: while this question is mainly aimed at our US members as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, if your country has a similar "Thanksgiving" type of holiday, feel free to respond too.]

I think Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday of the year.

I get to see my family, which isn't something I can do very often - we keep in touch, but it's not the same thing.  I get to RELAX, which is always nice (and often not something that goes with family!)  This year I'm going to be teaching my mom about double-knitting.  Should be fun! Cheesy  And we're going to be looking at knitting patterns ...... mmm, yarn geekery!

Then there's the food.  I LOVE holiday food.  It's totally wonderful.  I'm going to help with the cooking, which is more Mom&me time, while the boys all play.  (They clean up, though!)  and we chat, and we just relax.

And we give thanks - not in a formal prayer-type thing, but in all the things we do.  We appreciate each other, and what's more sacred than that? Smiley
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« Reply #8: November 21, 2009, 12:40:13 pm »

Hi there!
I always thought Thanksgiving WAS Pagan! It originated in with the Iroquois Confederacy  -- and their powerful influence on the early founders of the USA is well documented. They celebrated Harvest for 4 days -- the Iroquois are a maize culture -- with feasting and games of La Crosse.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be about thanking Mother Earth for everything that we have. Can't get more Pagan than that!

No, just no.

For starters, in spite of the common myth, the first "Thanksgiving" was held December  1619 at the Berkeley Plantation in Virginia -- nearly a year before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.  Second, Virginia wasn't Iroquois, it was mainly Algonquin (as were the Wampanoag people who helped the Pilgrims) -- these two groups didn't get along very well.  Third, if you count Spanish Florida in this, then they would beat out both Berkeley and Plymouth with the 1565 celebration at St. Augustine.

It was common in England before the time of the Pilgrims to hold a day of giving thinks whenever something miraculous happens.  These days were not for feasting as they were mostly days of prayer and FASTING.  The Pilgrims probably wouldn't see what they did as a Thanksgiving but more as a general harvest festival.  It had nothing to do with Native American beliefs.  Hell, the Pilgrims didn't celebrate CHRISTMAS because they thought it was too pagan, what makes you think they would adopt a festival from a Non-Christian culture?
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« Reply #9: November 23, 2009, 07:02:39 pm »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

[Note: while this question is mainly aimed at our US members as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, if your country has a similar "Thanksgiving" type of holiday, feel free to respond too.]

In my country it is celebrated, though most people call it "Day of the turkey"  Grin. I'm just going to eat turkey, which I like a lot. I have nothing to celebrate. More less, when the origin of the celebration is rooted in the commemoration of the mass-murdering and religious-cultural annihilation of the PAGAN native-americans. I have absolutely nothing to celebrate. Is one of the most anti-pagan days.
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« Reply #10: November 24, 2009, 10:37:59 am »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

[Note: while this question is mainly aimed at our US members as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, if your country has a similar "Thanksgiving" type of holiday, feel free to respond too.]
Usually Thx Giving involves going to my parent's house, and seeing my family. We're not a religious family, so religion (as far as they know) isn't involved. I however do use the day to give thanks to my own gods, without others knowing. I also am guilty of a bit of kitchen witchery from time to time, when making meals for said holiday. But outside of that, that's it.

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« Reply #11: November 24, 2009, 11:32:13 am »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

[Note: while this question is mainly aimed at our US members as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, if your country has a similar "Thanksgiving" type of holiday, feel free to respond too.]

Even as a child I don't remember anyone (not even the religious ones) in my family making Thanksgiving into a religious holiday.  It was always about getting as much of the family together as possible, eating, drinking, and enjoying ourselves.  My generation made it into an institution for about 15 years that all of us and my mother and her parents got together, along with anyone else from further away that could make it.  Great fun was had by all.  But then my brother died, and my sister's marriage fell apart, and it fizzled out.  My kids and I and the SO and his kids all get together now (all but one of those kids is an adult and has an SO), so we are making our tradition again.
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« Reply #12: November 24, 2009, 11:52:59 am »

Thanksgiving is one of the most important family holidays in the US. How do you celebrate it it? Does your Pagan religion influence your celebration in any way?

[Note: while this question is mainly aimed at our US members as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, if your country has a similar "Thanksgiving" type of holiday, feel free to respond too.]

Canadian Thanksgiving was over a month ago. You Americans are so behind schedule  Wink

My family doesn't really do anything big for our Thanksgiving. My mother makes a turkey, and my grandparents sometimes come over, and sometimes they don't. Most people just do their own thing on Thanksgiving in my family.

I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving food, like the bland poultry and mashed potatoes. No one listen to me when I recommend, souvlaki, mascala, or Chinese food instead Tongue
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« Reply #13: November 24, 2009, 12:12:00 pm »

I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving food, like the bland poultry and mashed potatoes.

The turkey I could take or leave (the skin is usually delicious, but the meat itself is a bit bland); mashed potatoes I like, but only with gravy or butter or some sour cream mixed in or something to help the taste along, because potatoes on their own do get a little bland sometimes.

Dressing, though--now THERE'S flavor.  And while mashed potatoes might be a bit dull, sweet potatoes are made of yummy.  (But only as long as they're not over-sugared.  No marshmallows please, just a sprinkle of brown sugar and a little butter and some pecans.)  And the desserts!

...Now I'm hungry.  Is it Thursday yet?


(To answer the original question:  I'm celebrating Thanksgiving as a pagan the same way I celebrated it as a Christian, which is by gathering with my husband's extended family and chowing down.  There's a prayer before the meal, I guess, which I bow my head and stay respectfully silent for, but that's the case at any big family dinner whether it's a religious occasion or not.)
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« Reply #14: November 24, 2009, 12:34:00 pm »

Canadian Thanksgiving was over a month ago. You Americans are so behind schedule  Wink

My family doesn't really do anything big for our Thanksgiving. My mother makes a turkey, and my grandparents sometimes come over, and sometimes they don't. Most people just do their own thing on Thanksgiving in my family.

I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving food, like the bland poultry and mashed potatoes. No one listen to me when I recommend, souvlaki, mascala, or Chinese food instead Tongue

I second the late Thanksgiving.  Grin

I love Thanksgiving food, especially left overs.  I could eat the turkey all week.  Living alone, I rarely make turkey myself (except in the summer I'll do a turkey breast on the BBQ).

Thanksgiving has no religious meaning for any in my family.  It is just a time for the family to get together and get stuffed.
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