If you are looking to recreate a traditional American Thanksgiving there are a number of traditions occurring annually throughout the US. Following traditions on Thanksgiving is one of the main aspects of the popular US holiday.
(photo by: Tim Sackton)
Thanksgiving is, in some ways set in stone, but has a different date each year. Taking place on the fourth Thursday of November each year the date is announced by the President each year.
Pardoning the Turkey
In the run up to Thanksgiving two turkeys are pardoned by the President of the United States. This tradition is thought to date back to the pardoning of Abraham Lincoln’s son’s pet turkey at Thanksgiving.
As a national holiday observed by the Federal government, all schools, banks, and the majority of private businesses are closed for a long weekend lasting either four or five days.
Turkey is one of the major parts of any Thanksgiving, with the tradition of eating the bird coming from the first settlers hunting and catching a fowl for the first thanksgiving in 1621. A traditional dessert eaten on Thanksgiving day is pumpkin pie.
Travel and airport delays become something of an obsession in the US throughout the week of Thanksgiving. With family members returning home, travel is a traditional part of the Thanksgiving holiday.
As traditional a part of an American Thanksgiving as turkey and shopping, the annual parades through major US cities feature local and national figures from popular culture. The New York Macy’s parade is the best known parade in the US.
The traditional Thanksgiving day is spent eating a large meal and watching TV with family and friends. In the morning, large Thanksgiving day parades are televised nationally and mark the start of Christmas TV programming.
American football is the traditional centrepiece of any Thanksgiving, with the Detroit Lions always playing in the first televised game of the day.
With turkey the commonly eaten meal on Thanksgiving Day, pulling the wishbone and making a wish is traditional in most families.
Shopping has become one of the major Thanksgiving activities for most Americans, special deals on the day following Thanksgiving have slowly been pushed back to be sold early in the evening of Thanksgiving.
If you are looking for a traditional Thanksgiving staying in New York hotels for the annual parade is a popular option for travellers.