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Do you know why today is Thanksgiving?

Do you know why today is Thanksgiving?

The American president Joe Biden has played in advance and has already pardoned the two turkeys who traditionally arrive at the White House on the eve of Thanksgiving Day. Those of 2022 are called Chocolate and Chip and come from a farm in North Carolina, the Circle S Ranch, which raises over 9 and a half million turkeys. Chocolate and Chip, which weigh around 20 pounds each, are lucky turkeys who won’t end up in the oven and on the table, but will go on to live in the science department of the University of North Carolina.

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Biden took the opportunity to recall that this year families will be able to reunite as has not happened in the previous two years due to the pandemic. Thanksgiving Day 2022, despite inflation and high prices, should be very similar to pre Covid.

The origins of Thanksgiving day are linked to the arrival of the pilgrim fathers and the meeting with the Native Americans. A story often told only from the side of those who stepped off the Mayflower. The holiday has Christian origins, but became universal after Abraham Lincoln made it official in the midst of the Civil War. Now you eat turkey and thank you for the good things in your life, waiting to go shopping the next day, Black Friday, a day of discounts for everyone. In English he sounds “Happy Thanksgiving!”, Happy Thanksgiving day.

The day

Thanksgiving day or simply Thanksgiving. It is celebrated in the USA and Canada as a thank you, originally, for the harvest during the year. In the United States the second to last Thursday in November, in Canada it is the second Monday in October. The first dates back to 1621. In that year, in Plymouth in Massachusetts, the pilgrim fathers arrived by ship Mayflower on the American coast after the persecutions for fundamentalist religious ideas in Europe, they decided to thank the Lord for what had been granted to them by the fields. The first harvest was not good, but with the help of the Native Americans who pointed to the cultivation of corn and the raising of turkeys, it got better after that. The harvest was abundant and the governor of the colony issued an order that all families give thanks for the food they received.

Pilgrims and Indians

“All you Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, gather at the Assembly House, on the hill… to hear the pastor there and give Thanks to Almighty God for all his blessings.” It is the order that, in November 1623, William Bradford, Governor of the Colony founded by the Pilgrim Fathers, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, gave to his fellow citizens. Native Americans were also invited to the Thanksgiving Day lunch. The day is remembered as a symbol of encounter and brotherhood, even if already in the first years of coexistence there were many clashes between settlers and natives, especially over the lands to cultivate. The idea of ​​a Thanksgiving party is not original to this event. They are remembered in Europe and also among the Spanish colonialists.

The presidents

In 1798 George Washington designated November 26 of that year as the day of Public Thanksgiving. But it was not then yet a tradition. Other occasions of public thanksgiving came in the following years. They weren’t occasions related to pilgrims and natives. There was one in 1776 for independence and also in 1815. All the US colonies celebrated Thanksgiving on the same day only in 1777. The holiday was officially proclaimed in 1863 by the will of President Lincoln. In recent years, some presidents have chosen to volunteer for the poor on Thanksgiving Day. Joe Biden has followed that tradition this year.


Already on the first Thanksgiving day, traditional foods were eaten today such as turkey and pumpkin, but also cornbread, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. Strictly eat at home, not at the restaurant. Better if with secret family tradition recipes. You see it in every movie, cartoon, TV series and TV series that tell the story.

The grace

For some years now, the White House has been launching a poll to choose the national turkey from the two pardoned by the president on Thanksgiving Day. The first US president to receive a turkey as a gift from American farmers was Harry Truman in 1947. JFK would be the first to send it back to the farm it came from. George HW Bush in 1989 the first to officially grant pardon.

The turkeys

Another 45 million instead end up in the oven, after having spent weeks fattening without seeing the light: at least 8 kilos for females, 18 for male specimens, the ideal weight. Turkey is American. The Aztecs gave them to the Spaniards who brought them to Europe. In the 1600s the Pilgrim Fathers of the Mayflower brought it back. In the 1990s and early 2000s, one of the pardoned turkeys opened the parade on Disneyland’s Main Street, then both were transferred, from 2005 by first-class airfare, to the Frontierland ranch, in the same park.

Parade and traditions

In many American cities, a parade takes place on Thanksgiving Day. The most famous is that of Macy’s department store in New York. Santa Claus also participates. The first one was made in 1914, with real animals, now there are giant inflatables. In addition to the tradition of the table, there are other equally profane ones. Thanksgiving day you watch the game. Football of course. The essential one is to thank relatives and friends for all the good things we have received from them in the past year. The day after, however, we go to spend. Black Friday is the day of discounts that opens the holiday shopping season.

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Source: Vanity Fair



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