Thanksgiving is one of the very special holidays with delicious food, family gathering moments, football watching, and so much more. However, we have celebrated Thanksgiving for many decades, there are still many fascinating facts behind the holiday’s traditions that will surprise some of us.
The oldest holiday of America contains several exciting pieces of information that are worth your time to learn more before carving up your family’s feast. This will also bring some joy to your dinner conversation when sharing knowledge with your beloved ones.
And now it’s time to explore the holiday's rich history, especially the ten weird Thanksgiving facts in this article.
1. The First Thanksgiving Was a Three-Day Event
The first Thanksgiving was observed in October, 1621 by Governor William Bradford of Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was to celebrate the first successful corn harvest of the current immigrants. Members of the Wampanoag tribe brought their food to the affair and shared it with everyone. Since the bounty was a lot, they decided to extend the event to three days.
2. Turkey and Pumpkin Weren’t in the Menu of the First Thanksgiving Feast.
While turkey and pumpkin pie become the signature dishes of every Thanksgiving feast nowadays in America, it was still a mystery about their appearance on the menu back in 1621. But according to original guests on the first Thanksgiving affair, neither turkey nor pumpkin pie was on the table. They did enjoy some fancier foods such as lobster, seal, swan, and even deer, along with bread, corn, and vegetables.
3. Jingle Bells Was Originally For Thanksgiving
James Pierpont wrote this famous song in 1857 for children to celebrate Thanksgiving at Boston Sunday school. Interestingly, it became a big hit to both adults and children, and later the lyrics were slightly changed for everyone to sing around Christmas instead.
4. Thanksgiving Is The Second Favorite Holiday of American
According to a report from Harris Poll in 2015, Thanksgiving is the second favorite holiday, just below Christmas and above Halloween. These are the popular opinions among millennials, baby boomers, and Gen Xers.
5. There Are Six Cities Named Turkey
We have Turkey - West Virginia, Turkey - Ohio, Turkey - North Carolina, Turkey - Kentucky, and Turkey Arkansas. Thanksgiving fans can consider visiting one of these towns to see whether they celebrate Thanksgiving more significantly than other town or not, after taking the name of the holiday's centerpiece. Plus, there are other towns’ names also based on Thanksgiving themes, such as Pilgrim in Michigan or Cranberry in Pennsylvania.
6. Black Friday Is The Busiest Day For Plumbers
Yes, the day right after Thanksgiving. Retailers are not the only busy ones on Black Friday, plumbers and drain cleaners are also getting in the game. The reason is probably that we keep pouring leftover cooking oil directly into the drain. The images of plumbers going from home to home, business to business might be another highlight of Black Friday.
7.Thanksgiving Also Inspired The Invention of TV Dinner
This is another example of a successful invention that was taken by accident. In 1953, over 260 tons of frozen turkeys were accidentally ordered by a Swanson employee. The number of turkeys took space up to 10 refrigerated train cars. Luckily, a company salesman suggested preparing turkey with sides and serving in aluminum trays. And the TV dinner was born thanks to that. During that year, Swanson sold 5000 TV dinners, and the following year that number was 10 million.
8. Turkey Almost Became The National Bird of The United States
This may upset eagle lovers, but Benjamin Franklin used to describe the eagle as “a bird of bad moral character” and prefer turkey as it’s “more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America” in a letter he wrote for his daughter. And his interest in turkey just as far as that. The story about he wanted the turkey to become one of the American’s symbols is just a miss conception.
9. Most Americans Prefer the Leftover to The Real Meal.
You are in the majority if you love leftover stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey leftover sandwiches. About eight out of ten Americans admit they enjoy the leftover for Black Friday’s brunch rather than the big dinner itself on Thanksgiving.
10. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on A Different Day.
As Thanksgiving is so famous as one of the traditional holidays of America, Canada does have that holiday, too. Instead of celebrating it on the fourth Thursday in November like in America, Canadian observes their Thanksgiving on the second Monday of every October. It’s because, in 1872, the Prince of Wales got medical recovery, and the north neighbor wanted to celebrate, and it became a national holiday to give thanks.