Cloe Vuong

Cloe Vuong

Modified & Updated: 31 Jan 2024


Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday in the United States that is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a time for family and friends to come together, enjoy a delicious meal, and express gratitude for the blessings in their lives. While most people are familiar with the traditional aspects of Thanksgiving, such as turkey, pumpkin pie, and football, there are a number of fascinating facts about the holiday that you may not know. In this article, we will explore 18 intriguing Thanksgiving facts, giving you a deeper appreciation for this annual celebration of gratitude and giving. So, let’s dive in and uncover some interesting tidbits about Thanksgiving that will leave you amazed!

Table of Contents

The Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621.

In the autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims, along with the Wampanoag Native Americans, came together for a harvest feast. This historic event is considered to be the origin of Thanksgiving as we know it today.

President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.

In the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday to foster a sense of unity and gratitude among Americans. Since then, it has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year.

Turkey is the traditional centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinner.

Roasted turkey has become synonymous with Thanksgiving feasts. It is estimated that around 46 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving Day in the United States alone.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a tradition since 1924.

What started as a small parade with only a few floats and live animals has now become a grand spectacle with giant character balloons, marching bands, and performances attracting millions of spectators.

Cranberries are native to North America and have been enjoyed at Thanksgiving for centuries.

Cranberries, with their vibrant red color and tart flavor, have been a staple of Thanksgiving celebrations for hundreds of years. They are commonly used in cranberry sauce, a popular side dish during Thanksgiving meals.

Sweet potatoes and marshmallows are a classic Thanksgiving combination.

Sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows has become a beloved Thanksgiving side dish. The contrasting flavors of the sweet potatoes and the gooey marshmallows create a delightful and nostalgic taste.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is known for its shopping deals.

Black Friday has become synonymous with incredible discounts and shopping frenzy. Retailers offer significant discounts, attracting shoppers who are eager to start their holiday shopping season.

The average American consumes around 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day.

With the abundance of delicious foods available, it’s no surprise that Thanksgiving is a day of indulgence. From the main course to the desserts, it’s estimated that the average person consumes a whopping 3,000 calories during their Thanksgiving feast.

The Detroit Lions have played a Thanksgiving Day football game since 1934.

The Detroit Lions have a longstanding tradition of playing a football game on Thanksgiving Day. It has become a cherished tradition for football fans across the country to gather around the television and watch the game.

Green bean casserole is a popular Thanksgiving side dish.

Green bean casserole, made with fresh or canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and crispy onions, has become a staple on Thanksgiving tables. It brings a delicious combination of flavors and textures to the meal.

The day before Thanksgiving is known as “Black Wednesday” among bar-goers.

Many people return to their hometowns to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends. As a result, the day before Thanksgiving has become a popular night for socializing at bars, leading to the nickname “Black Wednesday.”

Pumpkin pie is a classic Thanksgiving dessert.

No Thanksgiving feast is complete without a slice of pumpkin pie. The sweet and spiced filling, combined with a flaky crust, brings a perfect end to a delicious meal.

The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line has been providing assistance and tips to Thanksgiving cooks since 1981.

In case of any turkey-related emergencies, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line offers expert advice and guidance to ensure a successful Thanksgiving meal. Their team of turkey experts is available to answer questions and provide cooking tips.

Thanksgiving marks the official start of the holiday season.

For many, Thanksgiving serves as the kickoff to the festive season. It is a time when families come together, decorations are put up, and the spirit of joy and celebration fills the air.

The first Thanksgiving football game was played in 1876.

Two college football teams, Yale and Princeton, faced off in what is considered to be the first Thanksgiving football game. This tradition has continued over the years, with football games becoming an integral part of Thanksgiving Day.

The traditional Thanksgiving table includes stuffing or dressing.

Stuffing, also known as dressing, is a savory mixture of bread, herbs, and vegetables. It is often prepared and cooked inside the turkey, absorbing its flavorful juices.

Many Americans participate in charitable acts during Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude and giving back. Many individuals and organizations volunteer at soup kitchens, shelters, and community centers to ensure that everyone has a warm meal and feels a sense of belonging during the holiday.

Family and friends gather to express gratitude and share a meaningful meal on Thanksgiving.

Above all, Thanksgiving is a day for people to come together and appreciate the blessings in their lives. Whether it’s through heartfelt conversations, laughter, or simply enjoying a delicious meal, Thanksgiving fosters a sense of gratitude and togetherness among loved ones.


In conclusion, Thanksgiving is a holiday steeped in tradition and rich in history. It is a time for gratitude, family gatherings, and delicious feasts. From its origins as a harvest festival to its modern-day celebration, Thanksgiving holds a special place in the hearts of many people across the United States. Whether it’s indulging in a slice of pumpkin pie, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or expressing gratitude for the blessings in our lives, this holiday offers a chance to reflect on what truly matters. So, as we approach Thanksgiving 2015, let us not only enjoy the festivities but also embrace the spirit of gratitude and appreciation. Happy Thanksgiving!


Q: What is the history of Thanksgiving?

A: The history of Thanksgiving dates back to 1621 when the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians gathered to celebrate a successful harvest in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Q: When is Thanksgiving celebrated?

A: Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. In 2015, it falls on November 26th.

Q: Why is turkey the traditional main dish for Thanksgiving?

A: Turkey became the traditional main dish for Thanksgiving because it was plentiful and easily available during the harvest season.

Q: What other foods are commonly served on Thanksgiving?

A: In addition to turkey, common dishes served on Thanksgiving include mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.

Q: What is the significance of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

A: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual tradition that started in 1924. It is a celebration of Thanksgiving and kicks off the holiday season in New York City.

Q: How do people express gratitude on Thanksgiving?

A: People express gratitude on Thanksgiving by gathering with loved ones, sharing a meal together, and taking time to reflect on the things they are thankful for.

Q: Are there any Thanksgiving traditions outside of the United States?

A: While Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated in the United States, similar harvest festivals and gratitude-centered celebrations exist in other countries around the world.