The First Thanksgiving

Voyage on the Mayflower


  • The 1620 voyage from England to America was more than 3,000 miles…


Daily Life


  • The Pilgrims arrived in the New World during the winter, making it very difficult for them to find food and build shelter.
  • Fortunately, native people called Wampanoag, or “eastern peoples,” already lived in the Massachusetts Bay area. They shared their knowledge of local crops and navigation with the “coat-men,” as they called the English, and helped the colonists survive.


The Thanksgiving Feast


  • The English colonists we call Pilgrims celebrated days of thanksgiving as part of their religion. But these were days of prayer, not days of feasting.
  • Our national holiday really stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag to celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest.