For most of us, Thanksgiving Day is usually composed of three activities: spending time with our near and dear ones, watching football, and eating a hearty meal of turkey. This day also gives us an opportunity to express our gratitude for the abundance in our lives, be it the good relationships, health, or anything else.
But the story of Thanksgiving has many layers and involves more than just a commemoration of the gratitude we should share in our lives every day. So, while the food is being prepared let’s keep the conversation going with some Thanksgiving Day facts.
1. The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted for three days.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated only for a day or two if you count Black Friday as well. But, in the year 1621, the settlers’ first corn harvest came out to be good and therefore Governor William Bradford invited the Plymouth colonists’ Native American allies to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. The Wampanoag tribe members brought a wide range of food to share and as they joined the Pilgrims, the revellers decided to extend the affair.
2. The menu for the first Thanksgiving dinner in Plymouth—was not Turkey.
Nobody is quite sure if the mighty bird that now marks the centerpiece of our tables was even part of the actual menu. However, few records prove the people back then indulged in other interesting foods like local fowl, deer, seals, and lobsters.
3. “Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving Day song.
I am sure many of you would be surprised like me after reading this fact because we all have been singing this song on Christmas for a very long time. It is also said that its composer, James Pierpont, intended it to be a Thanksgiving Day song and also titled it “One Horse Open Sleigh.” But the song became so popular around December 25 that in 1859 the title was changed to “Jingle Bells” and the rest is history!
4. Thanksgiving leftovers inspired the first-ever TV dinner.
In 1953, the influential food corporation Swanson & Sons accidentally ordered a colossal shipment of turkeys. To get rid of them all, salesman Gerry Thomas came up with the idea of filling 5,000 aluminium trays with 260 tons of leftover meat and sell them. The idea was a hit, especially amongst kids and busy households.
5. Earlier Thanksgiving was celebrated on the third Thursday in November — not the fourth.
President Lincoln established the Thanksgiving holiday in 1863 on the fourth Thursday of November but in 1939 President Roosevelt tried to change the date, making it fall a week later. He believed that this would boost trade and alleviate the crippling economy but the idea didn’t catch on and the date of the celebration was moved back to the original one.
6. Drinksgiving before Thanksgiving.
Yes, there is a day just which goes by the name Drunksgiving; Drinksgiving; Blackout Wednesday; Awkward Wednesday, and many more. This day is celebrated a night before Thanksgiving and has become recognized as one of the most alcohol-heavy holiday related traditions. It is celebrated as the ultimate homecoming celebration with family friends and family catching up over drinks and laughter.
You will find all the local bars packed with college students and young adults returning home for Thanksgiving weekend meet up. The other good thing about this day is that you can get a free ride back home, from Lyft and Uber!
7. The woman behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is also responsible for giving it recognition as a national holiday.
It is believed that, in part, the decision was taken after Sarah Josepha Hale lobbied Congress for years to make Thanksgiving an official holiday. If it wasn’t for this resolute woman, this wonderful day wouldn’t exist today.
If you know more such facts, do let us know by a tweet on our handle living_uni and showcase your knowledge to the rest of the people.
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