Thanksgiving Day has a special meaning for Americans. Many holidays were brought along from Europe by the early settlers, and didn’t change very much. But Thanksgiving takes on a special shape in North America. That is because of the Thanksgiving celebrated by the early pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts in 1621.
These early settlers were from England and they were known as Puritans. This is because they wanted to purify the state religion of England. They felt that the churches were more concerned with politics and customs than God and worship. They were also called Pilgrims, because they were willing to travel to other countries in order to worship God the way they wanted to.
When the English government put some of the Pilgrims in jail, the rest left England and went to the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, they could have their own churches. However, it was hard to earn a living there, and at first they didn’t know the language. In time, the English king learned where they were and tried to have them arrested. So they thought of another plan.
Pilgrim leaders like William Brewster attempted to raise money to start a colony in North America. They would have to borrow money and pay it back later. Thirty members of the Pilgrim church in the Netherlands voted to sail to America with their families. They returned to England and set sail on two ships, the Speedwell and the Mayflower. When the Speedwell appeared unable to cross the ocean, both ships returned to England. All who still wanted to sail crowded into the Mayflower and set sail on September 6, 1620.
Many of the passengers became sick during the long voyage, and some died. They encountered fierce storms because they were sailing late in the season.
After sixty-six days, they sighted the sandy shoreline of Cape Cod, in present-day Massachusetts. There was disagreement between the Pilgrims and others on board ship about what to do. So first they had to agree to a common form of government and elect a governor. Since winter was coming, they decided to stay on the ship till spring.
About half of the remaining settlers died during that first winter. When the Mayflower sailed back to England, only about fifty settlers were left. Nearly half of these were children.
There were Indians in Massachusetts, but at first they were not friendly. They shot arrows at the settlers. But one day a friendly Indian named Samoset came to visit them. He spoke English and could tell them many things. He brought another Indian named Squanto, who showed the Pilgrims how to plant corn. Eventually, their chief Massosoit came, and he promised to keep peaceful relations with the settlers.
All spring and summer of 1621, the Pilgrims worked hard in the fields. They also finished building houses and barns. In the fall, they were delighted to see that the corn and vegetables had grown well. They decided to have a thanksgiving feast and invited their Indian friends.
On the day of the feast, Chief Massosoit came with ninety Indians. There were turkeys, deer meat and fish to eat. The feast lasted three days. When the food ran low, the Indians went out to shoot more birds and animals.
The Pilgrims and Indians competed in races, wrestling, shooting and other games. The Pilgrims addressed prayers and thanks to God for providing food, shelter, freedom of religion and friendly Indians in this new land.
Ever since 1621, Thanksgiving celebrations include memories of that special occasion. Today, turkeys, cranberries, corn and squash are usually part of the Thanksgiving meal. In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday. It is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in November.
In Canada, where the harvest is earlier, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October. The celebration always includes giving thanks for the good things that people have received, especially for food and families. Along with this goes the Thanksgiving meal, when so many good things are eaten.
A person who goes to live in a new country or region
White settlers in Africa
Someone who goes to live in a country or area where not many people like them have lived before, and that is a long way from any towns or cities:
Early settlers in Australia
One that settles (as a new region)
Examples of SETTLERSettlers learning to live in peace with the natives
In 1889 Jane Addams, in an effort to provide Chicago’s latest wave of settlers with much-needed services, founded the city’s first settlement house
Synonyms: colonial, colonist, colonizer, homesteader, pioneer, frontiersman
A member of the group of English people (the Pilgrim Fathers) who sailed to America on the ship The Mayflower in 1620 and started a colony in Massachusetts
A religious person who travels a long way to a holy place:
Pilgrims visiting a holy shrine
1: one who journeys in foreign lands: wayfarer
2: one who travels to a shrine or holy place as a devotee
3capitalized: one of the English colonists settling at Plymouth in 1620
Examples of PILGRIMThousands of Muslim pilgrims traveled to Mecca.
1 purify something
To make something pure by removing substances that are dirty, harmful or not wanted
One tablet will purify a litre of water
2 purify somebody/something/yourself
To make somebody pure by removing evil from their souls
Hindus purify themselves by bathing in the river Ganges.
To purify the soul
1 to remove dirty or harmful substances from something:
Chemicals used to purify the water
2 to make someone pure by removing evil from their soul:
They prayed to God to purify them.
To free from undesirable elements
Examples of PURIFY
We purified the water by boiling it.
You can purify the air with a filtration system.
A bottle of purified water
She believed she could purify herself through constant prayer.
Synonyms: cleanse, purge, sanctify
To show formally by marking a paper or raising your hand which person you want to win an election, or which plan or idea you support
Vote (for/against somebody/something) Did you vote for or against her?
How did you vote at the last election?
Vote in favor of something Over 60% of members voted in favor of (= for) the motion.
Vote (on something)We’ll listen to the arguments on both sides and then vote on it.
Only about half of the electorate bothered to vote.
Vote somethingWe voted Democrat in the last election.
Vote to do something Parliament voted to set up an independent inquiry into the matter.
To show by marking a paper, raising your hand etc which person you want to elect or whether you support a particular plan: In 1918 British women got the right to vote.
Vote for/against/in favor of
I voted for the Labor candidate in the last election.
53% of Danes voted in favor of the Maastricht treaty.
The people of Ulster had finally been given a chance to vote on the issue.
Vote to do something
Congress voted to increase foreign aid by 10%.
Shareholders voted to reject the offer.
Vote Democrat/Republican/Labor/Conservative etc
I’ve voted Democrat all my life.
Citizens will vote today for their new governor.
Did you vote in the last election?
The committee hasn’t yet voted on the matter.
Congress voted 121 to 16 to pass the bill.
He voted against the proposal.
They voted the referendum into law.
Senators voted themselves a pay raise despite the budget shortfall.
We have to decide what to do about dinner. I vote that we get a pizza.
Synonyms: advance, bounce, offer, pose, proffer, propound, suggest, and propose
Sight something (formal)
To suddenly see something, especially something you have been looking for
After twelve days at sea, they sighted land.
To see something from a long distance away, or see something you have been looking for:
The sailors gave a shout of joy when they sighted land.
Several rare birds have been sighted in the area.
Examples of SIGHTThey sighted a ship in the distance.
Several bears have been sighted in the area.
Synonyms: behold, catch, discern, distinguish, espy, eye, look (at), note, notice, observe, perceive, regard, remark, see, spot, spy, view, witness
Delighted to do something
I’d be absolutely delighted to come.
‘Can you stay for dinner?’ ‘I’d be delighted (to)!’
Usage note: glad
Happy pleased delighted proud relieved thrilled
These words all describe people feeling happy about something that have happened or are going to happen.
Glad [not usually before noun] happy about something or grateful for it:
He was glad he’d come.
She was glad when the meeting was over.
Happy pleased about something nice that you have to do or something that has happened to somebody:
We are happy to announce the engagement of our daughter.
Pleased [not before noun] happy about something that has happened or something that you have to do:
She was very pleased with her exam results.
You’re coming? I’m so pleased.
Glad, happy or pleased?Feeling pleased can suggest that you have judged somebody/something and approve of them.
Feeling glad can be more about feeling grateful for something. You cannot be ‘glad with somebody’:
The boss should be glad with you.
Happy can mean glad, pleased or satisfied.
Delighted very pleased about something; very happy to do something; showing your delight:
I’m delighted at your news.
Delighted is often used to accept an invitation:
‘Can you stay for dinner?’ ‘I’d be delighted (to).
’Proud pleased and satisfied about something that you own or have done, or are connected with:
He was proud of himself for not giving up.
Relieved feeling happy because something unpleasant has stopped or has not happened; showing this:
You’ll be relieved to know your jobs are safe.
Thrilled [not before noun] (rather informal) extremely pleased and excited about something:
I was thrilled to be invited.
Delighted or thrilled?Thrilled may express a stronger feeling than delighted, but delighted can be made stronger with absolutely, more than or only too. Thrilled can be made negative and ironic with not exactly or less than:
She was not exactly thrilled at the prospect of looking after her niece.
Glad/happy/pleased/delighted/relieved/thrilled about something
Pleased/delighted/relieved/thrilled at something
Glad/happy/pleased/delighted/thrilled for somebody
Glad/happy/pleased/delighted/proud/relieved/thrilled that…/to see/hear/find/know…very glad/happy/pleased/proud/relieved
Very pleased and happy
Delighted to do something Sandy will be delighted to see you.
Delighted (that)I’m delighted that we have settled the matter.
Delighted with/by/atShe was delighted with her new home.
I am delighted by the result.
Her screams of delighted laughter filled the air.
! Do not say ‘very delighted’. Say absolutely delighted.
WORD FOCUS: happy
Cheerful behaving in a way that shows you are happy
In a good mood happy at a particular time, and therefore friendly to other people
Pleased/glad happy because something good has happened
Delighted/thrilled/overjoyed/ecstatic very happy because something good has happened
Contented happy with your life
Optimistic/positive believing that good things will happen in the future
Gleeful/gloating smug happy because something bad has happened to someone else
Examples of DELIGHTEDThe children were especially delighted that there were enough cookies for each of them to have two.
We were delighted by the performance.
They are delighted at the prospect of a visit from their grandchildren.
Synonyms: blissful, chuffed [British], glad, gratified, happy, joyful, joyous, pleased, satisfied, thankful, tickled
Antonyms: displeased, dissatisfied, joyless, sad, unhappy, unpleased, and unsatisfied
A small sour red berry that grows on a small bush and is used in cooking
A small red sour fruit