Thanksgiving Day is a federal holiday that is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November in the US. This day also marks the start of the holiday season. It originated as a celebration of the harvest festival with the first official Thanksgiving Day being celebrated in 1621. Back then, this celebration between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe went on for three days. However, Thanksgiving Day was only made an official national holiday in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. Traditionally, family and friends celebrate this day with a special meal comprising a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables.
Here are some fun facts about Thanksgiving Day that you might probably not know:
- The Thanksgiving Parade which is also called the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was originally called the Macy’s Christmas Day Parade but later changed in 1927.
- The highlights of a Thanksgiving meal, the turkey and pumpkin pie were not even served at the first official Thanksgiving Day! Deer, venison, cod, bass, water fowl, and corn were served instead.
- If the Pilgrims had their way, Thanksgiving Day would actually end up being a day of fasting and praying.
- Each US president pardons and spares a turkey from being eaten every year in a ceremony called as the “Presidential Pardon of a Turkey”
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird instead of the bald eagle.
- In the United States, there are four places named Turkey. They are in Texas, North Carolina, Arizona and Louisiana.
- The top turkey producing state in the US is Minnesota with about 44.5 million birds produced in 2016.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the date for Thanksgiving to the second last Thursday of November in order to uplift the economy during the Great Depression. This failed miserably and started being called “Franksgiving.”
- Originally, the “Jingle Bells” song was a Thanksgiving song but later became quickly associated with the Christmas holiday season.
- About 280 million turkeys are sold in the US for the Thanksgiving celebrations with Californians being the largest consumers.
The Enago Academy team wishes all its readers a Happy Thanksgiving Day and holiday season!
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