Thanksgiving Traditions And The History Behind Them

Thanksgiving Traditions and HistoryThanksgiving is a day of football, feasting, family, and of course, being thankful for the people and things in your life. While Thanksgiving is pretty standard everywhere now, besides coming together around a table of food, our Thanksgiving traditions would be unrecognizable or incomprehensible to the people at the original Thanksgiving. Here is the history behind our Thanksgiving traditions for you to keep in mind as you gather with family and friends.

The Turkey:

Turkey is standard fare at Thanksgiving time, but it wasn’t at the original Thanksgiving. So where did this tradition come from? The turkey probably became popular because it has the most meat of most common birds for eating, which makes it ideal for a feast with a bunch of people. The more meat, the more people you can feed. We also know that Sarah Josepha Hale, the well-known writer of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” spent her spare time urging families to adopt certain foods like turkey and trying to get the U.S. government to make Thanksgiving an official holiday. Obviously, she was successful in both aspects.

Cracking the Wishbone:

Where did we get this strange Thanksgiving tradition of taking the wishbone (also known as the furcula) from the turkey, drying it out, and battling for the opportunity to crack it in half with the goal of getting the bigger piece so your wish will come true? The best idea we have, is the tradition came from an ancient Italian civilization called the Etruscans who believed chickens were oracles and had special powers. It passed to the Romans then to the English and now to us, changing with each pass of the torch to become the tradition it is today.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:

Having a parade for celebrations has been a common for a long time. Watching Thanksgiving parades is often an annual tradition for families. The most common being the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which was started 87 years ago by Macy’s employees and is still going strong. Today, millions of people flock to the streets of New York to watch the parade, and even more nation-wide tune in on television.

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