November 28, 2013

10 Thanksgiving Traditions


Ever wondered what Thanksgiving is all about? We don’t celebrate it here in South Africa but the holiday is one of the most popular in the USA & Canada. Here’s a quick guide to 10 Thanksgiving traditions…


1. National Holiday
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November in the USA and the second Monday of October in Canada. Thanksgiving was first proclaimed a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 when the United States was in deep distress, after 2 years of Civil War.

2.
Turkey Meal
Most homes celebrate by enjoying a family meal around the table - traditionally Turkey is served with stuffing and cranberries, along with corn and potatoes.

3. The Wishbone
Another tradition is taking the wishbone out of the turkey, letting it dry and pulling it with someone else - the person left with most of the wishbone gets a wish.

4. Giving Thanks
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims (early settlers) & Native American Indians in Massachusetts in 1621 as a time to mark the harvest and give thanks for a good crop after a harsh winter. Today, while gathered around the table, families take turns to say what they are thankful for.

5. Macy's Parade
Macy's (a famous American chain of department stores with its flagship shop in Manhattan, New York) has a televised Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York each year. There are floats, bands and giant balloons and on average over 46 million Americans enjoy the parade each year. The parade started in 1924 when the department store wanted to attract customers for Black Friday. The first parade used actual animals from the Central Park Zoo!




6. Preparation for Black Friday
The day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday, the day when the shops have the biggest sales of the year. Thanksgiving is associated with the start of the Christmas shopping season so savvy shoppers gear up to take advantage of the incredible sales on Black Friday.


7. Football

Watching American football on Thanksgiving is a tradition dating back to 1876.

8. Pumpkin Pie
Either store bought or homemade, pumpkin pie is synonymous with the holiday.



9. Turkey Pardoning

Each year a United States president pardons a White House Thanksgiving turkey from landing up on the table, and the public has the opportunity to name the spared turkey, who lives its remaining days at a petting zoo in Virginia. The tradition is thought to be connected to Abraham Lincoln sparing a turkey named "Jack.”

10. Takeout Day

In recent years, the turkey is sometimes replaced by Peking Duck, leading to many families getting Chinese takeout for Thanksgiving. 

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving or think it's a holiday you would like to celebrate?

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