We were Capitol citizens this Thanksgiving. Not that we all had a massive array of food and literally ate ourselves sick (though the amazing combination of Salted Caramel vodka and Apple Cider was introduced to us, so the threat was there…), but we Americans certainly don’t celebrate Thanksgiving the way that the Natives and the Pilgrims originally intended.
In Panem, Thanksgiving actually still exists to some extent. And reading about it makes us feel like total jerks for gorging on stuffing and rolls all day this past Thursday:
“We always celebrate the Harvest Festival on the final day of the Victory Tour, but usually it means a meal at home or with a few friends if you can afford it.”
Essentially, that’s all Thanksgiving is. With the note from Katniss that many people affix brightly colored corn to their doors, we’re assured that Thanksgiving was just one American tradition that would. not. die. and based on its timing with the Victory Tour, it’s become closely tied with the indulgences of The Capitol. Even those with little to no money know that you should do everything you can to save up and indulge on this one day, the final day of the Victory Tour.
Oh Katniss! Have we somehow made life harder in District 12 by forcing the ideals of feasting on you hundreds (perhaps thousands) of years earlier? Did you spend extra long amounts of time in the woods in the autumns prior to your Reaping so your family could have enough food for a proper Harvest Festival? Was that ridiculous Capitol celebration our fault because of our tradition of chowing down followed by episodes of guilt (thus the whole purging thing, in extreme cases)? In part, we know we influence your Harvest Festival. But the gaudy elements were never our intention! We just use the day to get together with the people we love and eat some and generally feel good inside. Also, football. I personally find it very disappointing that you miss out on the football element.
One thing Katniss doesn’t address is the “thankfulness” element, which probably got lost through the years. That’s not surprising. We still talk a big game about thankfulness now, but it’s usually right in between trying not to rip an annoying relatives face off on Thanksgiving and nearly trampling someone for a game system on Black Friday that will later be resold on eBay for double the price. No wonder the holiday cheer element doesn’t stick around!
P.S. We’re Thankful for You… Several Days Later!
The Girl With The Pearl