Thanksgiving is arguably our country’s oldest holiday. It is one that is steeped in traditions, many of which connect us to the season, and to the importance of yearly harvests. One of the most iconic symbols of Thanksgiving is the Cornucopia. Despite its widespread use during autumn, and as a centerpiece on many Thanksgiving dinner tables, its origins date back to the 5th century B.C. At Julia’s Florist, we want to urge our customers to continue this tradition, and to make the cornucopia the centerpiece on their Thanksgiving Day dinner tables.
How the Cornucopia Became a Symbol of Thanksgiving
The cornucopia as we know it today is essentially a horn-shaped wicker basket. The term comes from two Latin words: cornu, or horn, and copia roughly translates plenty. This is the reason we often see references to the “horn of plenty.”
The Greek myth surrounding the existence of the cornucopia starts with the birth of Zeus, the King of all Greek Gods. After his birth, Cronus, his father became fearful that once his son was grown up, he’d overthrow his dad. Cronus wasn’t about to allow that to happen, so he concocted a plan to do away with his son.
Rhea, Zeus’ mother, did what any mother would do in that situation. She arranged to send Zeus away to a place where he’d be safe. That place was a cave on Mount Ida. The goat Almathea became his surrogate mother.
Almathea cared for Zeus just as she would care for her own kid goats. One day, during some rougher play, Zeus knocked Almathea’s horn off her head. She instantly became a unicorn. The horn that fell off her head acquired magic powers. Any time the person who had possession of the horn wished for something, it appeared. The horn was constantly overflowing with goodies. When Zeus was old enough to realize what had happened, he was devastated. He remorsefully returned the horn to Almathea.
There are countless specimens of art through the ages that depict the Cornucopia on extravagant meal tables. It has come to be a symbol of not just the harvest, but also prosperity and abundance.
Don’t miss your chance to include our Autumn Cornucopia, a famous icon of history and tradition on your Thanksgiving dinner table.