Symbols of Thanksgiving


The Turkey

Thanksgiving Day celebration will be incomplete without the legendary turykey. The Pilgrims used to call any wild fowl, turkey. The turkey is usually the main course of most household during this celebration. It is a customary dinner which serves as a reminder of the four wild turkeys that were served at the first Thanksgiving feast.

The Cornucopia

The Cornucopia s a symbol of nature's productivity. It is the "horn of plenty" and is the most common symbol of a harvest festival. It is a horn-shaped container or basket that is filled with the abundance of a harvest. The traditional cornucopia was a curved goat's horn.

According to ancient Greek mythology, it was one of the horns of a goat called Amalthaea. The horn could produce ambrosia and nectar which was the food and drink of the gods. This goat supposedly nursed the god Zeus when he was a baby. Zeus later set the goat's image in the sky known to us today as the constellation Capricorn, to show his gratitude.

However, according to Roman mythology, the cornucopia was the horn of Achelous, the river god. The horn was broken off in a fight with Hercules. It was believed that Achelous came in the form of a bull. The water nymphs then filled the horn with flowers and fruit to offer it to the goddess of plenty, called Copia.

The Pumpkin

Another symbol of the modern Thanksgiving dinner is the pumpkin pie. The pumpkin is one of the most important symbols of the harvest festival and is an American favorite.


Cranberries are a kind of berry. Its name originated from crane berry because of its pink blossoms and drooping head which reminded the Pilgrims of the crane. The Pilgrims found out how to sweeten the bitter cranberries with maple sugar. The cranberry sauce was and is still used as a compabion of turkey during Thanksgiving dinner.

Get some cranberry recipes here


Native Americans taught the Pilgrims to grow beans next to cornstalks. The was so that tbe beans could use the cornstalks as their pole as they grow, hence American beans are also known as Pole beans. Beans are therefore a special symbol of thanksgiving feast.


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