In 1620 one hundred Puritans boarded the ‘Mayflower’ship bound for the New World, carried 102 passengers from England. They belonged to a group of English Protestants called Puritans who disagreed with many of the practices of the Church of England. They explored the new teritory for starting a new live far from the England rules. And for many centuries this people give the cultural effects such as: The protestant heritage which is contains the important values in life and celebrations such as: Thanksgiving day and Halloween days.
Protestantism has been a powerful force in shaping the values and beliefs in Americans. These values include of self improvement. The protestant believe that the sinners do not need the forgiveness from Priest, what they need are to improve themselves and ask for God’s guidance, forgiveness, and grace. Protestanism has traditionally encouraged a strong and restless desire for self-improvement.
The life styles of Puritans influence the Native American live: the material success, hard work and self discipline. The material success here means that if people who were blessed by God might be recognized in the world by the material success. The loyalty to The God came first then the blessed from God later. However the Puritan never encouraged the idea of gaining wealth without hard work and self-discipline. Many scholar believe that the emphasis on these two values make an important contribution to the industrial growth of the United States. They also believed that the hard work and self discipline was the holy characteristic blessed by God. Those are the life styles of puritan which has had influence many group in The United States.
Volunteerism and Humanitarianism are the ideas from Puritan to improving oneself by helping others. The motive of volunteerism and humanitarianism are strong: the Americans believe that they should devote part of their time and wealth to religious or humanitarian causes in order to be acceptable in the eyes of God and in the eyes of other Americans.
Giving thank to God had always been a part of the Puritans. They were giving thanks for the successful harvest, for God blessed and for the fortune. Giving thanks always the primary reason for the celebration. As we know that Puritans came from The England, in England itself the celebration were rewarded for a bountiful harvest after a year of sickness and scarcity, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God and celebrated His bounty in the Harvest Home tradition with feasting and sport (recreation).
There is still controversial and many assessment about the history of Halloween celebration. But from all about the assessment, the interesting one is about the date related to the religions belief. Literally, it is the eve of All Saints ’ Day, November 1 in the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. In the evening of October 31, the Christian feast the following day. The meaning of Halloween itself is: Halloween as a rite of seasonal passage and as a rite of passage of the life cycle.
However, Puritans have been giving the various values, beliefs and culture for America society until this day.
The First Step to American Studies compiled by Sri Herminingrum
______. (2003-2014) ThanksgivingHistory http://www.plimoth.org/learn/MRL/read/thanksgiving-history
______. (2006). The Pilgrim Father.
British History Encyclopedia