During the winter months, the Iroquois people would hold the "Feast of the Dead," a time to honor their ancestors and give thanks for the bounty of the land.
Dec 20 2022 07:12 | Updated Dec 20 2022 07:12
The history of upstate New York dates back to the indigenous people who first inhabited the area. The Iroquois Confederacy, made up of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations, was a powerful force in the region. The Iroquois people had a deep connection to the land and celebrated the winter season with rituals and traditions that honored the natural world.
During the winter months, the Iroquois people would hold the "Feast of the Dead," a time to honor their ancestors and give thanks for the bounty of the land. They would also hold the "Feast of the Dreamers," a time to honor their spiritual leaders and seek guidance for the coming year. These traditions were a crucial part of Iroquois culture and continue to be celebrated by indigenous people in upstate New York today.
In the early 17th century, European settlers began arriving in upstate New York, bringing their own traditions and cultural practices. One of the most enduring traditions from this period is the Christmas tree. It is believed that the first Christmas tree in America was erected in the town of Albany in 1804. Today, the tradition of the Christmas tree continues to be a beloved part of the winter season in upstate New York.
In present day, the tree lighting event at Rockefeller Center is widely popular and attracts crowds through the winter solstice. But other towns upstate also have similar versions of this event, like the tree lighting in Albany and Buffalo. The tree lighting is best enjoyed while ice skating, with a cup of hot chocolate.