What Is a Cornucopia?

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A cornucopia is a horn-shaped container or basket that is filled with fruits, vegetables, flowers and other signs of harvest bounty. It is this association with the harvest that has lent the cornucopia an association with Thanksgiving and other autumnal harvest festivals.

Also known as the horn of plenty, the symbolic value of the cornucopia dates back to classical antiquity, as the cornucopia was featured in a story about Hercules' superhuman feats. In addition to being a symbol of good harvest or natural plenty, the cornucopia can also serve as a symbol of fertility and fortune. Aside from its use as a symbol of the Thanksgiving holiday, the cornucopia has also been used in art and in official capacities, such as on the coat of arms of the Nation of Colombia.