As their name suggests, the Puritans wanted to live a “pure” life. They did not believe in having fun or in anything that might hurt their chances of going to heaven. Yet, they did one have party every year, during which they thanked God for allowing them to survive their first year in America: Thanksgiving.

Ordinarily, the Puritans ate a kind of porridge made of cornmeal and water. They would cook a large quantity of it on Sunday and eat it all week for lunch and even supper. Pumpkins were also popular. Their main meat was salted pork.

Thanksgiving, which was celebrated in November after the harvest, was an event that gave the Puritans a break from their regular routine. Products native to America were at the centre of the feast. This was their way of remembering the foods Native people gave the first English colonists in Massachusetts that allowed them to survive their first winter.

Author: Léon Robichaud

See also – Traces of the past:

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