Autumn festivals have been held for centuries. The Greeks and Romans honored their harvest gods with gifts and sacrifices to insure a bountiful season. The annual flooding of the Nile that brought fertile soil and deposited it on desert land was seen as a miraculous event, and the Egyptians paid homage to the river god accordingly.

Thanksgiving is the modern descendant of these ancient holidays, with one important difference. The early settlers of this country gave thanks to God for his blessings after the plentiful harvest. The Pilgrims had grown and preserved enough food to get them through the tough New England winter. The resulting meal was made possible through God's blessings and He was honored with a feast that lasted three days!

The Pilgrim's meal was not the beginning of an annual event; it occured once in 1621 and was not revived until much later. But the seed was planted. 150 years passed before the Continental Congress suggested the creation of a National Day of Thanksgiving during the American Revolution. In 1817 New York became the first state to adopt Thanksgiving Day as an annual holiday.