How many of these interesting facts about Thanksgiving Day are you aware of?

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Thanksgiving – a day when people celebrate God’s bounty and take the opportunity to offer prayers of gratitude acknowledging His blessings — is one of the biggest celebrations in the US! Celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving 2020 will be observed on November 26. Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, food, festivities, and fun! As you catch up with one another’s life over the Thanksgiving dinner, consider having a discussion on these facts about Thanksgiving day to make your light-hearted dinner conversation more intriguing!

  • The origin of the Thanksgiving tradition dates to the 17th century. The first Thanksgiving celebrated in 1621 was a 3-day feast, and this harvest feast was shared between the English colonists of Plymouth and Native Americans.
  • We all know that the traditional Thanksgiving fare typically includes turkey, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie, but do you know that there’s no record of turkey being a part of the menu at the First Thanksgiving feast? It is said that the First Thanksgiving meal largely consisted of venison, duck, goose, oysters, lobster, eel, fish, stews, vegetables, pumpkins, cranberries, etc.
  • Thanksgiving was declared an official national holiday by Abraham Lincoln, thanks to the persistent efforts of the writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale for 17 years.
  • According to the estimation of the Calorie Control Council, an American consumes an average of 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day alone. No doubt, Thanksgiving is the largest food consumption day of the whole year!
  • Thanksgiving week is also one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, and why not? The long weekend (Thanksgiving Thursday and Black Friday followed by Saturday and Sunday) encourages family trips, friends’ get-togethers, etc. All those living abroad fly back home for this holiday! When booking flights, check out Indian Eagle that guarantees the lowest airfare and the best deals and discounts on tickets!
  • Butterball, a popular poultry products brand, answers nearly 100,000 turkey-cooking queries each Thanksgiving season via their Butterball Turkey Talk-Line.
  • An estimated 46 million turkeys are slaughtered every year for this American holiday! On the other hand, ‘Turkey pardoning’ is one of the interesting Thanksgiving traditions, in which one (sometimes both) of the two turkeys presented to the US President by the National Turkey Federation will be reprieved. This ‘pardoned’ turkey will be free to live its life at an animal sanctuary.
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York — the world’s largest and most iconic parade that features giant character balloons, floats, live music, and other performances — was originally called ‘Macy’s Christmas Parade’ when it started in 1924. Moreover, the first parade featured floats, bands, animals from Central Park Zoo, and Santa Claus.
  • The tradition of a football game on Thanksgiving Day began in 1876 with a football match between Yale and Princeton.
  • Turkey trot is one of the interesting Thanksgiving traditions, isn’t it? This light-hearted footrace also set a Guinness World Record in the year 2011 when 661 people dressed in turkey costumes participated in the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot, and thus created the record for the ‘largest gathering of people dressed up as turkeys’.
  • One of the interesting facts about Thanksgiving is that there are four cities in the US named after the centerpiece dish of Thanksgiving dinner! These cities named ‘Turkey’ are situated in Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina.
  • Thanksgiving celebrated by the Americans is often referred to as the American Thanksgiving to distinguish it from the Canadian Thanksgiving that takes place on the second Monday of October.
  • Native Americans in New England observe the fourth Thursday of November as ‘National Day of Mourning’ to commemorate the struggle of their native ancestors for survival. For them, it is a ‘day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.’
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