On every fourth Thursday of November, friends and family gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a time to give thanks, spend time with family, devour way too much food, and gather around the living room to watch football.
Some families in San Antonio continue to celebrate their own family traditions on Thanksgiving. Maybe you decide to enjoy a stress-free day and leave the turkey behind while you hit up your favorite restaurant. For others, it may be the cooking that is the most valued part of the holiday.
You might remember being dressed in paper pilgrim hats and Indian feathers during lunch time at school when you were younger. But do you remember learning the reason why we celebrate Thanksgiving? Let’s fill you in on some history.
The First Thanksgiving
In 1621 at the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which lasted for three days! This was the start of their tradition to thank God for their successful harvest in the New World. A letter found by Edward Winslow, an English leader who witnessed the Thanksgiving, said they ate enough food to last one week.
Why Do We Eat Turkey?
Contrary to popular belief, the first Thanksgiving meal didn’t include turkey, ham, stuffing, a pecan pie. Instead, they had fowl, flint corn, squash, porridge, chestnuts, shellfish, and venison around the table. Historians also believe that the majority of their dishes were made with Native American spices and traditional cooking methods.
Keep in mind that the Pilgrims did not have ovens and the Mayflower had a very small sugar supply. Without ovens and sugar, it would be a little difficult to bake a sweet dish for dessert. Unfortunately, the meal did not include pies, cakes and other desserts, which completes every Thanksgiving meal today.
In 1621, turkeys were not part of the feast, but 90% of American families today eat turkey on this holiday. We can give a lot of credit to Alexander Hamilton who stated, "No citizen of the U.S. shall refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day." During the fall season in 1621, they hunted wild turkeys - which were also a Native American bird. Soon enough, it gained traction as a staple for the holiday meal.
How Thanksgiving Became a Holiday
In 1789, our first president George Washington declared a national day of thanks and prayer to celebrate defeat against the British at the Battle of Saratoga. Later on in 1777, he called for another day of thanks on the last Thursday of November to commemorate the end of the Revolutionary War and the ratification of the Constitution. However, the Thanksgiving Day we are familiar with today was not proclaimed an official federal holiday until President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 during the Civil War.
Gather Around the Table with Friends and Family in San Antonio at Costa Pacifica
Costa Pacifica may not be the first restaurant that comes to mind when you think of a Thanksgiving meal, but it should! Costa Pacifica is one of the most fun and vibrant restaurants in San Antonio, Texas, which makes it the perfect place to host a gathering. You may not find turkey on the menu, but there is a variety of seafood, meat, and vegetarian food items.
Our restaurant is complete with a patio, outdoor and indoor bar, bar area, dining room, and private room for 35 guests in the Stone Oak area. The best part? Our private room is free with a reservation! Come to Costa Pacifica during the holidays for a lovely meal with your favorite people. Happy Thanksgiving!