Thanksgiving is a special opportunity for family members and friends to gather and enjoy delicious Halloween foods such as turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Halloween comes every year but there are many many unique facts about Thanksgiving.
The truth is, there’s a lot we don’t know the reason why we celebrate Thanksgiving every fourth Thursday in November. Here are 13 unique facts about Thanksgiving to share around the dinner table.
Unique facts about Thanksgiving
Have a look at these fascinating and unique facts about Thanksgiving that will surprise you.
Every year, around 46 million turkeys are cooked.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, you may think of turkey immediately. Although not all Americans host the holiday, there are still millions of families who get together around the table to enjoy one of the most special meals of the year.
Most Americans secretly don’t like Thanksgiving classics but will eat them anyway.
According to a 2019 Instacart survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults carried online by The Harris Poll, a huge 68 percent of Americans dislike Thanksgiving dishes including canned cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and even turkey itself. However, they still eat them to honor the tradition. Currently, 30% of Thanksgiving dinner hosts have served something other than turkey as their main course (pork is the second most popular pick).
The first Thanksgiving was hosted in 1621, but it wasn’t celebrated as a national holiday until 1863.
Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” is known as the “Mother of Thanksgiving”. She spent 17 years campaigning with the wish of Thanksgiving being a national holiday. Ultimately, President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday 240 years after the tradition began in Plymouth, Ma.
“Jingle Bells” was initially a Thanksgiving song.
“Jingle Bells,” the classic Christmas song composed by James Lord Pierpont in 1857, wasn’t originally for Christmas. Formerly it was titled “One Horse Open Sleigh,” which was meant to be sung on Thanksgiving. However, when it was republished in 1859 and changed its name to “Jingle Bells, or the One Horse Open Sleigh,” the song was prescribed for Christmas.
The first Thanksgiving lasted three days.
The event generally referred to as the first Thanksgiving was observed in October 1621. It was organized by Governor William Bradford of Plymouth, Massachusetts, to honor the recent immigrants’ first successful corn harvest in the New World. Members of the Wampanoag tribe came bringing a lot of foods to share. The event lasted a full three days.
Canada commemorates a completely different Thanksgiving.
You may think that Thanksgiving was totally American, but it’s commemorated in Canada. But it takes place on the second Monday of every October instead of the last Thursday in November.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons used to be released after the show.
The first big-scale balloon used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was Felix the Cat in 1927, replacing the earlier zoo animals that were used in the first three iterations of the parade. Because there were no plans for deflating the balloons, more were simply released to float away. Unluckily, this plan was not effective, as most popped shortly after being released.
Red wine is the most common Thanksgiving tipple.
Appropriately 50% of households drink red wine during Thanksgiving dinner, based on a 2017 survey by the alcohol delivery service Drizly. About 10% choose white wine and the rest opt for something else such as soft drinks, beers, or cocktails.
Butterball, a common turkey company, opens a turkey hotline every November and December to answer any turkey-related questions you may wonder. Established in 1981, the Turkey Talk-Line got 11,000 questions that the first year to answering over 100,000 questions for thousands of households across the U.S. and Canada each holiday season.
Thanksgiving was once observed on the third Thursday in November.
Decades after President Lincoln formally proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday, President Roosevelt wanted to combine things up by moving it up to the third Thursday in November instead of the fourth. So, seven more shopping days were added to the holiday season in 1939 so as to promote the economy.
However, the change made football coaches upset, who had Thanksgiving games already scheduled. Also, calendar printers now had incorrect dates. American didn’t like the change, so it was formally switched back in 1942.
Many Americans prefer Thanksgiving leftovers more than the meal itself.
The atmosphere on Thanksgiving Day doesn’t like any other: the kitchen is busy with last-minute cooking, the dining table is decorated with the best china, and a football game playing on the TV. But according to a 2015 Harris Poll, a large majority of Americans love the leftovers of the Thanksgiving meal more than the actual meal.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is called “Drinksgiving.”
Before the annual feast starts, there’s the night before Thanksgiving- which is known as one of the most eventful days of the year. It’s even called “Black Wednesday” in some areas. Bars are not the only places that experience a boom on the eve of Thanksgiving.
TV dinners are invented thanks to the Thanksgiving miscalculation.
The original TV dinner was made as to the result of a Thanksgiving miscalculation. In 1953, a Swanson employee overestimated the number of frozen turkeys that the company should order for Thanksgiving. So, the company was left with 260 tons of frozen fowl following the holiday.
Luckily, a salesman named Gerry Thomas came up with the wonderful idea of packaging the excess product into trays like airline meals. At that time, Swanson sold 5,000 TV dinners. The following year, they sold 10 million frozen turkey meals. Since then, the TV dinner industry was born.
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Hopefully, these unique facts about Thanksgiving will wow you as well as your kids. If you have any questions or want to add other unique facts about Thanksgiving, please leave a comment. For cheap Thanksgiving gifts for your friends, family members, cute Thanksgiving presents, or the history of Thanksgiving, check out our Thanksgiving Guide.