One of the more traditional symbols of the Thanksgiving holiday holds a place of honor on our seasonal tables; the cornucopia (Latin for “horn of plenty”) is a classic representation of prosperity and abundant provision. The “horn” is a basket, generally overflowing with fruits, vegetables and flowers, which originated not with the settlers of the Mayflower, but the ancient Greeks.
The cornucopia was associated with several Greek and Roman gods, most notably those connected with the harvest, with prosperity, or with spiritual abundance. Plutus, the god of riches was one such deity who carried a cornucopia; Fortuna, the goddess of good luck,, was given the power to bestow prosperity on an individual, and thus was also associated with the horn of plenty. Roman deities who sponsored the pax romana – or Roman peace – were also portrayed holding a cornucopia, including the goddess Abundantia, considered to be abundance personified.
In modern times, the cornucopia remains largely unchanged – a hollow, horn-shaped basket overflowing with seasonal produce or flowers representative of the annual bounty. Because the cornucopia was popular in European harvest festivals, it is likely that it graced the first Thanksgiving table, and eventually became a part of American heritage and tradition. Still a prolific symbol of good fortune and abundance, the cornucopia is likely to continue to represent Thanksgiving in our décor.
Bagoy’s Florist and Home can create a vivid cornucopia for you using some of the most beautiful flowers of the season – lavish yellow sunflowers, lush orange roses and lilies, as well as fall foliage and accents. Stop into our Anchorage flower shop to order your cornucopia centerpiece, and rest assured your Thanksgiving dinner will carry on an ancient tradition in striking style.