Like many modern-day holidays, Thanksgiving is a celebration that largely sticks to its roots but has been expanded to “bigger and better” proportions over the years.
Here in the colonies, we can typically point to the giant harvest meal enjoyed by the pilgrims after their arrival in the New World. But “days of thanks” were nothing new even then, being commissioned for all sorts of momentous occasions. It’s just that back in the 15th century, a successful harvest was very much cause for celebration.
Today, for a great many of our readers, Thanksgiving is something that is quite taken for granted. That’s a truly great thing, to know that once a year, on the fourth Thursday of November, you will gather with your loved ones to make and enjoy a delicious meal and be with those you care about.
But that certitude belies the true intent of the holiday and its namesake. It also does not exactly hearken back to the origins of Thanksgiving, when any large meal was truly cause for celebration and not merely found at every drive-thru.
This isn’t true for everyone, though. That’s something evidenced by one of the area’s greater holiday traditions: the Annual Equinox Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner.
Equinox is one of those organizations that will hopefully always be there to pick up society’s slack. The group offers a lot of services out of its Albany offices, including programs for troubled youth, victims of domestic violence and the generally not well off.
Among these essential services is one that truly stands out: Equinox makes it a point to ensure everyone who, for whatever reason can’t have a Thanksgiving dinner, gets a meal. This is a massive undertaking that has been running for more than four decades, and in today’s climate the need is definitely there.