It’s true, Thanksgiving is the holiday for appreciation of our friends, family and the Pilgrims and Native Americans that came together over a feast, 400 years ago. However, while we know a lot about modern traditions like string bean casseroles and fall-themed decorative centerpieces for our tables, the history of the holiday is much lesser-known.
Here are 5 things we bet you didn’t know about the origination and historical traditions of this day of gratitude.
1. Pilgrims didn’t bring any forks to the “new world,” so Thanksgiving dinner was eaten solely with spoons.
2. Every year since 1989, the POTUS “pardons” at least one turkey. This means the turkeys will be “excused” from being served on a Thanksgiving table that year. The excused turkeys are sent to live in a park in Virginia.
3. The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade featured a different kind of star– circus animals. And yes, that included elephants.
4. Thanksgiving was originally meant to be the longest fast of the year. The Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Rock gave thanks for two full days by abstaining from food. When they were joined by the Native Americans on the third day, the feasting began!
5. President Lincoln named Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the year 1863.
We hope you learned a fun fact to share with family and friends over your Thanksgiving feast! We’re thankful for you, our readers and students, for being friends of Kids at Art.