I remember in elementary school seeing pictures of cornucopia”s, but I”ve only seen real ones in stores. In fact, I don”t think I have ever seen a real cornucopia at a Thanksgiving dinner, but the truth is, whenever we see a cornucopia, whether through a display or through advertising, we automatically think of Thanksgiving.
Since the cornucopia is such a symbol of Thanksgiving, I decided to research the history. Did you know that they”ve been around since at least the 5th century B.C.E? The Cornucopia is supposed to represent a horn of plenty, and it is believed that the Cornucopia was the original basis of the stories of both unicorns and the holy grail!
Even the Greek”s and Roman”s had a story of a cornucopia. Wikipedia has a story of Amalthea, who was a goat who raised Zeus on her milk. Zeus accidentally broke off her horn while roughhousing. Feeling bad about it, he gave it back to her, with supernatural powers – that the horn could grant people anything they wished for. In artistic depictions, the horn was always filled to the brim with fruits and flowers, representing fertility, good fortune and abundance.
I actually think they”re kind of odd-looking, and a bit impractical. A basket would hold a lot more, while a cornucopia basket is angled oddly, making sure that everything will spill out. It seems like such an odd thing to have such a unique and long-standing history. Doesn”t it seem as if in a different material, it”d make a better glass than a basket?
But it”s Thanksgiving, and it”s a time to give thanks for all of our blessings, from the big and little – being able to pay our bills (whether working or jobless), to the soldiers fighting to keep us safe from terrorism, to being graced by the presence of our loved ones. Even though we”re living in some really tough times, there”s still plenty to be grateful for. A cornucopia of things, in fact!
So, we here at the EMW wish all of you an extremely happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day – I sincerely hope it”s the best one yet.
Rose M. Garland