Over the last decade or so we had dear friends who always hosted a special Thanksgiving Re-Enactment which was so fun to take part in. It always blessed us and we learned so much, so I thought that maybe some of our readers might be interested in doing something like that with their friends and family.
So today I am going to share what they did here in case you'd like to to do one too!
Here is what they did:
1. Costumes - They had people dress up as Pilgrims and Indians, even the children too. You could make your own or find some here.
2. Food - They had everyone bring a Thanksgiving dish (sometimes true to period and sometimes just traditional or a mix of both). They also cooked chowder on a big pot outdoors over a fire to feed everyone. I also remember that they also passed out a food (might have been hard tack) that was eaten on the Mayflower for people to sample. I will see if she has the recipe and post it here later if she still has it.
3. Decor - They decorated their property inside and out with a Thanksgiving theme -pumpkins, cornstalks, themed books, candles, old-fashioned signs and hay bales to sit on. I think once or twice they even did their entire garage as the Mayflower!
4. History - They would share a speech about the history behind it and also pass out these little cards of people from The Mayflower when you came in. They had a picture of a Pilgrim (male if you were a male and female if you were female) on the front and at the end they would name the survivors of the Mayflower and you could check to see if you were one of them who made it or not.
5. Short plays - People would act out different parts (like William Bradford or Chief Massasoit) or read or act out what they did.
6. Song - sometimes we would sing some hymns or do a craft.
7. Trivia - They had a trivia time where they would ask the crowd questions about the history of Thanksgiving.
8. Kernels of corn - they shared about how the Pilgrims were rationed 5 kernels of corn a day to survive. You can share the significance of this by passing 5 kernels out so everyone can hold it in their hand while you talk about it.
9. Games - Bow and Arrows and old fashioned games were played.
10. Dancing - Then we would finish the day with old fashion dancing (Virginia Reel, etc).
It wasn't always the same every year, it was always a little different but every one always learned something and had so much fun fellowshipping together! What great memories my children have had doing this!
Here is a book for more information and help--The Thanksgiving Primer: A Complete Guide to Recreating the First Harvest Festival for Your Family, Friends or Church.
Here is a book for your children that we recommend--The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving:
Have you ever hosted or been a part of a Thanksgiving Re-enactment before?
What would you add?
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