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Nov 19 2018

Fun Facts about Thanksgiving 2018Posted By Jennifer Levin - 11/19/18

funfactsthanksgiving_520_01 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving

For generations, Thanksgivings everywhere have been an opportunity to gather around and express gratitude and share with friends and family.  It’s a time where there are uncomfortable moments, dysfunctional gatherings and of course, feasting around the tables across America.

Fun Fact #1
What comes to people’s mind when you think of Thanksgiving aside from football?, YES, the Thanksgiving Day parade. Originating in 1924, the very first, what was then called the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade actually featured live animals from the Central Park Zoo. The parade stretched just two blocks.  New York City went all out. Featured four large bands, a Santa Float, Macy’s employees dressed up in costume and, of course what parade would be complete without, lions, tigers and bears? Newspapers called it a “Marathon of Mirth”

Fun Fact #2
Can you imagine no turkey on the menu at Thanksgiving?  Well, it’s true, there was no turkey served at the first Thanksgiving! What was on the menu?  The menu for the first Thanksgiving dinner in Plymouth—which took place in 1621—likely included lobster, seal, and swans, Deer or venison, ducks, geese, oysters, lobster, eel and fish! Pumpkin pies weren’t even a thing yet, did they just eat pumpkins?   There was also no mashed potatoes or cranberries. The feast between Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Americans lasted for three days, during which both parties contributed to the meal. Though there aren’t many recorded facts of the actual menu, it is known that the Pilgrims hunted for local fowl (swans very much included) and the Wampanoag brought five deer.

Fun Fact #3
The British don’t officially have a Thanksgiving; however, they do put their own unique twist on the holiday and call it "Brits-giving." Whatever  the holiday is called as long as there is a table of family/friends and gratitude pouring out of every heart, does it really matter what the day is called? Brits-giving is a celebration with customs celebrating music, poems, dances, contests, decorating churches with produce, praying and singing hymns giving thanks.  And, yes, it’s a really thing, the British increasingly embrace the American traditions, turning it into their own, celebrating gratitude and national pride.

Fun Fact #4
The Thanksgiving holiday began in 1827 and was lobbied to Congress by a woman named Sara Hale to have it become a permanent American custom and institution.  In 1863 President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. To this day, Thanksgiving is considered to be an attempt on behalf of the president to bring some peace back to the country after the Civil War.

Fun Fact #5
Canadian Thanksgiving
It’s celebrated in October and falls on a Monday. The celebration isn’t centered around Native Americans and Pilgrims, but shopping instead. Over the centuries, their holiday tradition has changed from crop festivals, to explorations, to battle victories, and finally a general opportunity to give thanks and express gratitude (not unlike the American celebration).

Fun Fact #6
Thanksgiving leftovers led to the first ever TV dinner.
Swanson & Sons and other food corporations overestimated how much turkey would be consumed on Thanksgiving and had to get creative with the 260 tons of leftover meat. Hence the concept of the T.V. Dinner.