A Turkey

🦃 11 Interesting Facts about Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the USA. It’s celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November, and originated as a harvest festival. To get you in the mood for the celebrations, here’s 11 fun facts about Thanksgiving…

1. Turkey and Thanksgiving is a modern coupling.

There is no actual record of turkey being eaten at the first Thanksgiving which was celebrated in 1621. It was celebrated over three days and it was said that Venison, Duck, Goose, Oysters, Lobster, Eel and Fish were likely served, alongside pumpkins and cranberries.

2. Lincoln made Thanksgiving a holiday.

Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3rd, 1863 after Sarah Joseph Hale – the woman who wrote ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ convinced Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday after writing letters for 17 years.

3. This carol was actually written for Thanksgiving.

‘Jingle Bells’ was originally a Thanksgiving day song before becoming a Christmas Anthem. Jing Bells was an 1857 song title “One Horse Open Sleigh” written by James Pierpont who intended it to be a Thanksgiving Day song – it become so popular around December 25th that in 1859 the title was changed to “Jingle Bells” and eventually became one of the most popular Christmas songs ever.

Squash harvest

4. Got a turkey-related quandary?

Butterball has been answering more than 100,000 turkey related questions since 1981. If you ever find yourself stuck and Google is not helping, you can simply call Butterball’s Turkey helpline which is open every November to December.

5. Turkey is a very popular dish.

Each year, there are about 46 million turkeys cooked – although not all Americans celebrate the holiday, there are still million of families gathering around the table to eat one of the most special meals of the year.

6. Thanksgiving eve is a big night for bars.

The night before Thanksgiving is known as ‘Drinksgiving’ – which comes as no surprise that bars but also car-services like Uber experience a boom of business during that night.

7. Turkey pardoning is more modern than you might think.

George H.W. Bush was the first president to officially pardon a turkey in 1989.

8. Now that’s a gobbler!

The heaviest turkey ever recorded, according to the Guinness Book of Records, weighed a hefty 86 pounds!

9. It’s a day for feasting.

The average number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving is between 3,000-4,500 – In total that’s 8.1 billion calories consumed by Americans at Thanksgiving every year.

Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving

10. Some dinners really cost the Earth!

The world’s most expensive Thanksgiving Dinner was in 2018 at New York City’s Old Homestead Steakhouse – it cost an eye watering $150,000.

11. Many homes fire up!

There’s three times as many home cooking fires on Thanksgiving as on a typical day.

FAQs about Thanksgiving

When was the first Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving wasn’t officially named as a holiday until Abraham Lincoln became US President, but it is thought that Native Americans and colonists shared a feast together as early as 1621.

Where else in the world is Thanksgiving celebrated?

As well as in the US, many citizens across Canada, Liberia and even St Lucia and Grenada celebrate Thanksgiving.

What is seen as the most important part of Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is seen as a feast holiday, which means the large turkey dinner is seen as the most important part to many families.

Do you know any fun facts about Thanksgiving?  Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on October 4, 2021. Suggest an edit

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