Thanksgiving Traditions

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Kelsie Jennings, Staff Editor

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In 1621, on the Plymouth Plantation, the first Thanksgiving occurred. The Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Americans had a great feast to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first Autumn Harvest. Since this event became a yearly tradition itself, many more yearly rituals have branched off individually to celebrate this holiday.

One major national way Americans celebrate the feast is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The first parade occurred in 1924 and has happened every year except for the years of 1942 to 1944, while World War II was occurring. The parade is made a tradition every year by many Americans.  It is watched on television by 50 million Americans and 3.5 Million Americans brave the weather to watch it live on Sixth Avenue in New York City.

Another tradition that is well known to many Americans is the annual pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey. Every year the President of the United States picks two turkeys to be pardoned, or saved, from being eaten. They traditionally pardon two turkeys because one is saved for a backup in case the first cannot properly perform their duties to this country. The first turkeys pardoned were in 1989 by George H.W. Bush.  However, there are rumors that Harry Truman was the first to pardon a turkey. Yet him and the presidents before him all ate the turkeys given to them. Since Bush we have regularly been pardoning turkeys.

Many families have their own personal traditions that they do every year on their own. Some families have a tablecloth that has a family picture in the center and every year they write something that they are thankful for on it and date it. Another tradition is the whole family spends the morning doing a Turkey Trot together and running for a good cause. Although, most families just spend the day together having fun and making memories.

 

Contributed by:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/71548/16-fun-facts-about-macys-thanksgiving-day-parade

http://fortune.com/2015/11/24/macys-thanksgiving-parade-numbers/

https://www.whitehousehistory.org/questions/which-president-started-the-tradition-of-pardoning-the-thanksgiving-turkey

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