Cultural Foods of Thanksgiving 2015


Special Spanish Treat

18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ The Puritan’s Mind

From the start Thanksgiving has deeply rooted the American Christian Tradition and the need to bring the family together. This was especially true when the Native American Indians and the First Settlers came together to celebrate their joint efforts in a successful harvest way back on June 20, 1676. Yet, it never occurred to me when I was growing up that there was different ways of celebrating Thanksgiving, let alone different foods people ate in different places around America.  But this was brought to my attention when I first came here to California back in July 1991 where I was to met people from different places especially from the Hispanic Culture. Though the American born Hispanics largely celebrate Thanksgiving as the rest of Americans those who come from Mexico celebrate in giving thanks for a completely different reason that is largely related to many of the same reasons as that of the first Americans; that being to bring the family together and to create community; though it is called Thanksgiving an American Holiday mainly for the kids. So like every feast of celebration the Hispanic Community eat foods on Thanksgiving like – Tamales, Pozole which is like a Stew, a fruit salad with Beetroot juice soaked with Apples, Beetroot, Jicama, Orange slices and whatever other fruit you want to add in. Pollo enchilado, carne asada, menudo and is another Mexican Dish that Hispanic people would want to eat for Thanksgiving among many more. It doesn’t have to be these specific types of dishes, it could be other dishes too like tacos, Mole de Olla, or Mole. Other side dishes like dessert would include Flan, yogurt, and fruit salad or like any other dinner it could include other American desserts like pie, corn or Jello. Normally, the drinks would be wine, soda, juice, champurrado, ponche, tequila, and beer.




Church on Thanksgiving 

8 “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” ~ 1 Chronicles 16:8

The Hispanic culture at large is very devoted to their faith and can been seen going to Church on Thanksgiving Day. It their Mexican American children who are largely absent if given a choice. There are many families who have developed a Thanksgiving – Church Going tradition and to those families the Mexican Americans generally attend church in a variety of special hours, starting at 7:00am – 9:00am – 12:00 noon – 5:00pm – 10:00pm and then some have 11:00 – 12:00 midnight. These masses are setup to create the feeling of community and to give thanks, to have that togetherness within both the biological family as well as in the extended families. The idea is to give thanks for everything for what they have and do not yet have. In fact in the earliest mass church goers within some of the churches in the inner city of Los Angeles especially in the lower economic areas actually set up a feast for the entire community; all are welcome, from any denomination. However, I have to say that food is very important to the Hispanic culture so much so it is used to create the “Spirit of Thanksgiving” not just on Thanksgiving but in all celebrations they hold dear year round! As a teacher running the Summer Technology Team the last day is set aside to celebrate the students accomplishments and the parents would bring food of every kind quit literally it was a feast every year! I can not say this about other cultures of America, and I often reflect on this with a smile because wasn’t the Pilgrims and Native Americans who are accredited with the having the first Thanksgiving for many of the same reasons the Hispanic community celebrates it? The giving of thanks for a successful harvest, the giving of love within a community setting, to bring two cultures together that worked together to survive, the giving of thanks for things they did not yet have and of all the wonderful things they were given from above. In reality food is the constant that binds us together and it is this commonality that is truly being celebrated.
















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 Special Note


As we head towards the season of Thanksgiving it is important to take note of all that we have to be thankful for. Like the disciples who learned all things are possible through the love and compassion of God so to can we the many sons and daughters of Christ make miracles happen for those who are in need and thus in our own way feed the multitude. I urge you to support inner city children through the gift of education by clicking the following link.

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