Thanksgiving day facts and origin, history, traditions

The Thanksgiving day is a national holiday which is celebrated in Canada as well as in the United States. This holiday was originally held to give thanks for the blessing of the harvest as well as of the preceding year. Thanksgiving holiday took place on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Let's learn more about this holiday to find out more about history of thanksgiving, thanksgiving origin, traditions, story, the first thanksgiving, first thanksgiving meal, etc through our bucket list of Facts about Thanksgiving day

Thanksgiving Day Facts and History, Origin, Traditions


The famous pilgrim celebration at Plymouth Colony Massachusetts in 1621 is traditionally regarded as the first American Thanksgiving. However, there are actually 12 claims to where the “first” Thanksgiving took place: two in Texas, two in Florida, one in Maine, two in Virginia, and five in Massachusetts.


President Jefferson called a federal Thanksgiving proclamation “the most ridiculous idea ever conceived.”


The famous “Pilgrim and Indian” story featured in modern Thanksgiving narratives was not initially part of early Thanksgiving stories, largely due to tensions between Indians and colonists.


Native Americans “Unthanksgiving Day“ commemorates the struggle for Native American rights. 


The turkeys typically depicted in Thanksgiving pictures are not the same as the domestic turkeys most people eat at Thanksgiving. Domestic turkeys usually weigh twice as much and are too large to fly.

Thanksgiving turkey

Thanksgiving turkey - Thanksgiving day facts


The average long-distance Thanksgiving trip is 214 miles, compared with 275 miles over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday.


Americans eat roughly 535 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving day.


One of the most popular first Thanksgiving stories recalls the three-day celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. Over 200 years later, President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving, and in 1941 Congress established the fourth Thursday in November as a national holiday.


Thanksgiving is an amalgam of different traditions, including ancient harvest festivals, the religious New England Puritan Thanksgiving, the traditional harvest celebrations of England and New England, and changing political and ideological assumptions of Native Americans.


Since Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving holiday in 1863, Thanksgiving has been observed annually. However, various earlier presidents, including George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison, all urged Americans to observe various periods of thanksgiving.


The Pilgrim’s thanksgiving feast in 1621 occurred sometime between September 21 and November 1. It lasted three days and included 50 surviving pilgrims and approximately 90 Wampanoag Indians, including Chief Massasoit. Their menu differed from modern Thanksgiving dinners, meal and included berries, shellfish, boiled pumpkin, and deer.

Thanksgiving Day Facts

 Thanksgiving Day Facts


Even though President Madison declared that Thanksgiving should be held twice in 1815, none of the celebrations occurred in the autumn.


Thanksgiving Cranberries are only one of three fruits native to America


Now a Thanksgiving meal dinner staple, cranberries were actually used by Native Americans to treat arrow wounds and to dye clothes.


In 2007, George W. Bush granted a pardon to two turkeys named May and Flower. The tradition of pardoning Thanksgiving turkeys began in 1947, though Abraham Lincoln is said to have informally started the practice when he pardoned his son’s pet turkey.


When President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the next-to-last Thursday in November to prolong the holiday shopping season, many Republicans rebelled. The holiday was temporarily celebrated on different dates: November 30 became the “Republican Thanksgiving” and November 23 was “Franksgiving” or “Democrat Thanksgiving.”


Not all states were eager to adopt Thanksgiving because some thought the national government was exercising too much power in declaring a national holiday. Additionally, southern states were hesitant to observe what was largely a New England practice.


Thanksgiving Day is actually the busiest travel day, even more so than the day before Thanksgiving, as most people believe.

Thanksgiving Day Facts

Thanksgiving reunion holiday - thanksgiving facts


In 1920, Gimbels department store in Philadelphia held a parade with about 50 people and Santa Claus bringing up the rear. The parade is now known as the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade and is the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day parade.


Baby turkeys are called poults. Only male turkeys gobble and, therefore, are called gobblers.d


In 2009, roughly 38.4 million Americans traveled more than 50 miles to be with family for Thanksgiving holiday. More than four million flew home.


Thanksgiving football games began with Yale versus Princeton in 1876.


The Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday largely because stores hope the busy shopping day will take them out of the red and into positive profits. Black Friday has been a tradition since the 1930s.

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