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The Symbols and Colors of Thanksgiving With Their Meaning

Ashmeet Bagga Nov 20, 2018
Thanksgiving calls for a gathering of family and friends, invoking the feelings of gratitude and happiness. Mention Thanksgiving to any American, and he will picture various foods and colors associated with this holiday. Let us take a look at the Thanksgiving colors and their meaning.
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump
May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!!
Thanksgiving is a really important day not just in the U.S., but across the globe. It is a day when people thank God, express gratitude for His blessings, and celebrate the day with close family and relatives.
It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November by enjoying a feast that includes roast turkey and pumpkin pies. For some, this day means a long weekend spend in catching up with family or friends who stay apart. Some also consider it to be a start of the Christmas season.
Coming to think of it, this day comes during the fall, that's when the leaves change color, while some leaves wither away and fall. Each tradition or celebration has certain colors associated with it; similarly, Thanksgiving also has its own associated colors and symbols. Let us take a closer look at them.

Symbols and Colors of Thanksgiving


When we talk about Thanksgiving, how can we not mention turkey? It is the main dish that is served during a Thanksgiving meal. Brown is the governing color of Thanksgiving, because brown is the color of roast turkey―the main food at a Thanksgiving meal.
The color brown also depicts stability, reliability, and abundance. The color brown is also associated with our mother Earth, which provides us food, grains, etc. So, it's another way of expressing gratitude towards her for providing us with food. The color brown also represents fall, the color of leaves turning brown in deep autumn before they fall and die.


Whether you make cranberry sauce or use it as a stuffing in turkey, it still is an essential ingredient at a Thanksgiving meal. The initial settlers, or Pilgrims, were known to harvest cranberries during the fall season.
It is assumed that cranberries were served during the first Thanksgiving meal. The color red is associated with cranberries, because the initial settlers used cranberries to add flavor and sweetness to their food and also for their medicinal value.


It is a symbol of fertility, bountifulness, and nourishment. It's filled with seasonal harvests like fruits, vegetables, etc. The use of cornucopia as a symbol of abundance has its origins in Greek mythology.
Legend has it, that there was a goat called Amalthea, who fed baby Zeus her milk, Zeus was known to be very powerful as a baby. One day, while playing with the goat, he broke one of her horns, this horn was believed to sustain never ending nourishment. Hence, the symbol is known to depict abundance.


The Pilgrims learned the technique of growing corns from Native Americans. Corn comes in various colors like red, yellow, and blue. It reminds us of our heritage and the importance of a good harvest. Many people use corns for table decorations too. Many Native American tribes considered blue and white corns to be sacred.
The color yellow depicts happiness, growth, and again, it's one of the fall colors. Corn is considered to be an integral dish or ingredient at a Thanksgiving meal, because the first Thanksgiving feast held by the Pilgrims and Native Indians at Plymouth was to celebrate their first successful corn harvest.


Though pumpkins are associated with Halloween, they also adorn Thanksgiving dinner tables. The initial settlers used to consume boiled pumpkins, and as a mark of gratitude, a variety of pumpkin preparations adorn the table today.
The pumpkin is considered as an important vegetable for the fall season. Today, they are consumed in a wide variety of ways. Many people use their leaves in salads, and who doesn't like a slice of pumpkin pie? Without a dash of orange (the color), the dinner table seems incomplete.
Orange is also said to symbolize autumn and harvest, it is a vibrant color which expresses happiness, blessings, and joy. Orange trees are known to be symbol of love, and Thanksgiving is all about family love.


According to Iroquois legend, beans are known as one of the, "Three Sisters"―corn and squash being the other two―today they are integral to a Thanksgiving meal. The Native Americans imparted their knowledge about growing and harvesting beans along with cornstalks to the Pilgrims. No wonder, it is said that beans were also a part of first Thanksgiving meal.
Thanksgiving is an occasion to express gratitude for all the good things in life. And what better way to celebrate it than through the use of appropriate colors and symbols around us. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!