We probably all know that cornucopia literally means “horn of plenty,” from the Latin.  And it’s been a traditional symbol of Thanksgiving and a fruitful harvest since…well…forever. But do you know the actual history of it? I didn’t!

The story of the cornucopia actually dates all the way back to Greek mythology. According to legend, the baby Zeus had to be hidden from his father, Kronos, who otherwise devoured all his children (yikes!). So Zeus was hidden away in a cave with a goat named Amalthea, who fed him. Well, Zeus was obviously no ordinary baby–he was a god. And had a bit more strength than a normal baby too. One day he accidentally broke off one of Amalthea’s horns. But of course, this is a world of magic. The horn then became imbued with some of Zeus’s power and began overflowing with food…and it never ran empty. That horn would always spill out food and drink. And so, the horn of plenty.

All through ancient cultures, Greek and Roman and many that came in contact with them, the cornucopia became a symbol of a good harvest and plentiful food. This symbology traveled up through the ages and into modern society too, becoming an image used to represent the good harvest and Thanksgiving. Perhaps you even have plates or napkins or tablecloths or other decorations featuring the horn. And now you know that it’s an image that has been used for thousands of years!