The first Thanksgiving – at least, the one involving the Pilgrims — is believed to have occurred over a period of three days, sometime between Sept. 21 and Nov. 9 in 1621.
The feast occurred on a Pilgrim plantation at the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts, and was attended by 53 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians. Reportedly, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag expressed thanks for the animals, fruits and vegetables they were consuming. This is actually a tradition with Native-Americans, who would always thank an animal or plant for surrendering their life so that they may live.
The Pilgrims were grateful to God, not only for the bounty they had collected but for the Wampanoag, who had helped them survive on the brink of starvation and who peacefully co-existed with them for 50 years.
The Pilgrims did not have wood-burning cook stoves. All cooking was done over an open fire, either in cast iron pots and pans, or roasted on spits or suspended next to the fire. Dutch ovens were used for basic baking and braising. There also were some foods cooked in hot ashes, which was a technique they learned from the Wampanoags.