Pilgrims and Wampanoag: Thanksgiving traces its origins to the Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and their feast with the Wampanoag Native Americans in 1621.
First National Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving wasn't celebrated as a national holiday until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it in 1863 during the Civil War. He wanted to foster a sense of unity during a challenging time.
Famous Foods: Traditional Thanksgiving foods include turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Many families add their own regional or cultural dishes.
Turkey Pardon: Each year, the President of the United States pardons a turkey, sparing it from the Thanksgiving table. This tradition began with President Truman in 1947.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is one of the most famous parades in the world. It started in 1924 with live animals from the Central Park Zoo.
Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday," marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Retailers offer significant discounts, and it's one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Football Tradition: Watching football games on Thanksgiving Day has become a beloved American tradition. The NFL usually hosts three games on the holiday.
Thanksgiving Day Parades: Apart from the Macy's Parade, many other cities across the U.S. hold their own Thanksgiving Day parades, such as the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Detroit America's Thanksgiving Parade.
Cornucopia Symbolism: The cornucopia, or horn of plenty, is a symbol of abundance and is often associated with Thanksgiving. It's typically depicted overflowing with fruits and vegetables.
Variations of Thanksgiving: While the fourth Thursday in November is the official Thanksgiving holiday, some states, like Texas and Florida, also have additional state-specific Thanksgiving observances on different dates.