Ah, Turkey Day! What’s not to love? Thanksgiving is arguably America’s most beloved holiday. It’s one day a year when we halt work on the 4th Thursday in November, gather with family and friends, and make a point to reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives. Are you hosting this year? If so, it's also fun to decorate your house in warm autumn colors so your guests really feel the seasonal vibe.
The holiday can be super fun or super stressful (annoying in-laws, anyone?). But no matter what, it’s usually a festive time! Plus, it's a perfect holiday to play games, do crafts with the kids, and get their help setting the table!
Whether you're throwing a “Friendsgiving” or celebrating with close family, a few things are for certain: there’s delicious food (all those side dishes, yum!), football, and tryptophan induced naps. Plus, many Americans get a four day weekend, and of course, it’s the kick-off to the holiday season! So, with Thanksgiving Day just around the corner, we thought we’d bring you some fun and interesting facts about the holiday you may not know!
How Thanksgiving Started
- It is believed that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 in Plymouth Massachusetts. It included 50 Pilgrims, 90 Wampanoag Indians, and lasted three days.
- There is no official recording of turkey being eaten at the first Thanksgiving. According to historical documents, they had deer for the feast along with lots of seafood local to the area, like bass, lobster and even eel!
- They probably did have cranberries (not sauce) and cooked up pumpkins. There was definitely NO pie because there was no wheat or sugar in Plymouth at that time.
- Also, The pilgrims most certainly did not serve potatoes, because they were not in the US as a crop yet as they are native to South America!
The date of Thanksgiving changed a few times
- After the first Thanksgiving, people would continue to celebrate every year, but there was never an official date! Not until a lady named Sarah Josepha Hale (author of the song, Mary Had A Little Lamb) wrote letters to Abraham Lincoln for 17 years pleading to make Thanksgiving a national holiday --which he did in 1863.
- In 1939 President Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving to the 3rd Thursday which extended the Christmas shopping season and helped bring the country out of The Great Depression. It was changed back again in 1941.
Modern Turkey Day facts you never knew!
- After Thanksgiving in 1953, Swanson had 260 tons of leftover turkey and no idea what to do with it! An employee said they should package it with some sides and freeze it... and voila! The TV dinner was born!
- We all know what Black Friday is, but the day after Thanksgiving is also the busiest day of the year for plumbers too. They call it, "Brown Friday,” eek!
- Did you know there's a Guinness World Record Holder for the largest pumpkin pie ever made? The colossal baked good tipped the scales at 3,699 pounds, was 20 feet in diameter, and used 440 sheets of dough to make the crust!
- And in case you were wondering, the average number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving averages 4,500! Food coma, here we come.
What are your favorite Turkey Day traditions? Tell us in the comments below!