Happy Day of Giving Thanks
BunnyChow Card #2:
24 Nov 2018:
Ignorance is bliss. But with awareness, comes guilt.
This week was Thanksgiving (TG).
Years ago TG to me was this fantastic 4-day weekend of feasting, merrymaking and sleeping. It was also the weekend that kicked off the month-long lead-up to the next long weekend of feasting, merrymaking and sleeping, Xmas. But over the years I’ve been dragged from my ignorant cave and enlightened on the origins of TG.
Historically TG is said to have begun with the pilgrims celebrating and giving thanks for their survival, which included their victory over Native Americans. This uncomfortable contradiction became particularly clear and gnawing, when I learned of the Mystic massacre of 1637. Connecticut colonists under Captain John Mason set fire to the Pequot Fort near the Mystic River, burning alive an estimated 400 to 700 mainly women, children, and the elderly.
In South Africa, under apartheid, they had a similar holiday, December 16, called the Day of the Vow. It celebrated the 1838 Battle of Blood River (yeah, you guessed it) when about 500 white Afrikaners “shock and awed” (I’ve declared it a verb) 10,000 Zulu warriors, killing almost 3,000. For the next 155 years, white South Africans celebrated the Day of the Vow.
But with the end of apartheid in 1994, Nelson Mandela showed what a true genius he was. With one slice of a pen he changed the entire meaning of the holiday by changing its name from Day of the Vow to Day of Reconciliation. A day to foster reconciliation and overcome differences. AND he kept the holiday. I mean people would have hated him if he’d got rid of the holiday or moved it to another day. Genius. Therefore, until America catches up with me, I’m changing Thanksgiving to Day of Giving Thanks.
I especially give thanks for you, my readers. Happy DGT day to y’all.