27th November 2014
Speaking at California State University at Fresno last week, Dr. Cornel Pewewardy gave a lecture to students titled “How the Grinch Stole Thanksgiving.” Pewewardy spoke about the historical and cultural implications of the holiday.
“Like other holidays, including Christmas and Columbus Day, Thanksgiving is not based on historical accuracy, but rather on the importance and prevalence of maintaining a consumer culture”, Pewewardy, who is a member of both the Comanche and Kiowa tribes, said on Tuesday.
Obviously an affirmative action hire; this is what passes for scholarship on the Left Coast. (How can you be a member of two tribes who were historical enemies? Is that like being a ‘white Hispanic’?)
Historical ignorance in modern America being what it is, of course, few are aware that the Pilgrims were celebrating the traditional European festival of Martinmas:
St. Martin was known as friend of the children and patron of the poor. This holiday originated in France, then spread to Germany, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe. It celebrates the end of the agrarian year and the beginning of harvesting. From the late 4th century to the late Middle Ages, much of Europe, including the UK, engaged in a period of fasting beginning on the day after St. Martin’s Day, November 11. This fast period lasted 40 days, and was therefore, called “Quadragesima Sancti Martini”, Latin for “the forty days of St. Martin.” Sundays were not counted as part of the fasting period. Gaudete Sunday, which can fall anywhere between December 11 through 17, was also not counted as a day of fasting, thus giving the 40-day count. On St. Martin’s Eve, people ate and drank very heartily one last time before they started to fast. This period of fasting was later shortened and called “Advent” by the Church.
And, indeed, the Orthodox Christian Church still starts the Nativity Fast on the Saturday after Martinmas, something of which ‘Professor’ Pewewardy is probably also ignorant — but, then, his ‘historical accuracy’ is obviously based on a political agenda rather than real history.