Thanksgiving turkey

Why Do People Eat Turkey On Thanksgiving?

If the question “why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving?” came into your head, then you’ve been on the right page! Let’s get to know the history of Thanksgiving turkey and find out interesting things about it!

In the United States, it’s hard to imagine a Thanksgiving party without turkey. We admit that Thanksgiving dishes vary from house to house. In different parts of the country, we can explore mashed potatoes, gravy, or sweet potato pie. But no matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving Day, there is a guest that is always invited to the table dinner in most American homes – the turkey. Why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving? Scroll down to discover some reasons for this!

The reason why eat turkey on Thanksgiving

Why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

So, why do people eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

One of the most interesting Thanksgiving facts is that 91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Why is turkey so popular on a Thanksgiving feast? Learn more about the history of Thanksgiving turkey and you will know why people eat Turkey on the special holiday.

The history of the Thanksgiving turkey is considered to be quite mysterious. Until now, nobody knows exactly why this particular bird got that place of honor at Thanksgiving parties each November. However, there are some theories about this discovered by historians.

Thanksgiving turkey

Pilgrims may not have had turkey on the first Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving menu is said to have its origins from an event commonly known as the “first Thanksgiving”. There exists evidence of a meal shared between Pilgrim settlers at Plymouth Colony and Wampanoag people in late 1621. This was later marked as the very first Thanksgiving!

Letters and records provided by early American settlers let us know that beef and fowl were on the menu at that time. The Wampanoag offered deer, and the Pilgrims prepared wild “fowl.” However, there is no sign that exactly indicates that the fowl was turkey. 

If someone wonders: “did Pilgrims eat turkey at the first Thanksgiving”, we can say that: nobody is sure if there were turkeys at the harvest celebration in 1621. The only thing we can ensure is that “wild turkey” was certainly in the Plymouth area, as colonist William Bradford indicated in his book Of Plymouth Plantation.

why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving

Why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

The best existing document of the Pilgrims’ harvest feast is known to be from colonist Edward Winslow, the author of Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Although his first-hand account of the first Thanksgiving provided no specific mention of turkey, the author mentioned the Pilgrims gathering wild fowls for the meal. As there is no specific information about this, these fowl could also have been understood as ducks or geese.

Turkeys became the Thanksgiving meal of choice 

Later, after being lost for a century, Bradford’s journals were reprinted in 1856. Despite the fact that the author had never mentioned that turkey was at the Thanksgiving feast, the idea of early colonists hunting wild turkeys caught the imagination of people. 

turkey on Thanksgiving

There were audiences who wanted Thanksgiving to become a national holiday. Because Bradford mentioned the way colonists hunted wild turkeys in the autumn of 1621 and also because turkey is known as a uniquely American bird, this fowl quickly gained traction as the main Thanksgiving food for Americans after Thanksgiving was declared to be a national holiday by President Lincoln in 1863.

Other reasons why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving

There are other reasons for eating turkey on Thanksgiving. The birds are considered to be large enough so they can serve a table full of hungry family members.

the reason people eat turkey on Thanksgiving

Explore why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving

Turkeys are not the same as chickens or cows in terms of serving many utilitarian purposes like laying eggs or making milk. Especially, the publication of A Christmas Carol in 1843 could have made the turkey’s a holiday delicacy when Scrooge magnanimously sends the Cratchit family a Christmas turkey.

Let’s get to know why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving from a more practical perspective, turkeys are also considered to remain at a relatively reasonable price. Though the wild turkey was said to be endangered in the early 20th century, its population once again reaches millions. |Additionally, modern breeding practices play an important role in making turkeys both larger and cheaper than ever. This can ensure their continued appearance on the Thanksgiving table.

Exciting facts about turkeys

Interesting facts about turkeys

Why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving – facts about turkeys

As we’ve learned why people eat turkey on Thanksgiving, here we also have some interesting facts about turkey that might surprise you.

  • While wild turkey has the ability to fly, domestic turkey cannot.
  • Turkeys are really fast. They can run with the speed of up to 20 miles per hour.
  • The long, loose skin hanging down on a turkey’s neck is a “wattle.”
  • Turkey droppings show its sex and age. While male droppings are j-shaped; female droppings are spiral-shaped. The larger the diameter is, the older the turkey is.
  • It is estimated that an adult turkey owns about 5,000 to 6,000 feathers on its body.
  • The English name “turkey” has its origin from historic shipping routes that passed through the country of Turkey on their way to shipping the birds to European markets.
  • Six distinct subspecies of Wild Turkeys consist of Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriam’s, Gould’s, Osceola, and South Mexican.

Wonderful Thanksgiving Gift Ideas

We’ve just found the reasons why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving. And now it’s time to look for cool Thanksgiving gift ideas to surprise your loved ones on the special occasion. Refer to these suggestions and we believe you will come up with the best decision!

You now got the answer to the question “why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving”, right? Prepare a wonderful party with all the most delicious foods and you won’t forget a turkey for the feast, will you? Finally, we wish you have a joyous day of Thanksgiving with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

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