Last Thanksgiving, we spoke about the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday; today we are going to jump into some of the many traditions of this festivity.
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared the feast that has come to be known as Thanksgiving dinner. In 1817, New York became the first state to organize an annual Thanksgiving and in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday.
Today, as the busiest travel day of the year, it takes place each year on the fourth Thursday in November.
There are many traditions that come with this day, but the more popular are: spending time with family watching football or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, making wishes out of wishbones, unique traditions, decorations, and recipes to go along with Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you have Cornish game hens or oven-roasted turkey, there are many ways to celebrate this holiday.
One tradition that goes back to the end of the 1800s is the Turkey Trot. This is a popular national event that can help to balance out Thanksgiving dinner eats! This race became popular in America, when it started in Buffalo, New York, in 1896 and is still going on.
Don’t forget about one of today’s most prominent traditions – the turkey pardon! Instead of ending up on the dinner table, the President of the United States pardons a gifted turkey.
Since Thanksgiving takes place in autumn, there are many Thanksgiving dinner ideas that go along with the season. Some people decorate their mantle with a variety of seasonal vegetables, like gourds and pumpkins. The cornucopia, representative of the horn of plenty, is also a popular Thanksgiving decoration. Beyond the season’s popular vegetables, the hues of orange, red, and brown also make for good decorations. Whether it’s an autumn wreath or a flower arrangement, there are many ways to incorporate seasonal colors for this occasion. It can also be a fun family affair to pick wheat stalks, cattails, and leaves to complement the Thanksgiving feast.
While the traditional foods have changed considerably during the history of Thanksgiving dinner, there are many common Thanksgiving dinner recipes like: the turkey (or Tofurkey for vegetarians) is the meal’s highlight, whether cooked in a slow cooker, turkey fryer, or oven. Some popular side dishes in today’s feast includes brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, butternut squash, cranberry sauce, and Jell-O salad. Mashed potatoes, yams, and sweet potatoes are also staple sides. Unlike the first Thanksgiving, dessert is now an important part of the feast, with pumpkin pie and pecan pie being the prominent favorites!
There are only two surviving documents that reference the original Thanksgiving harvest meal. They describe a feast of freshly killed deer, assorted wildfowl, a bounty of cod and bass, and flint, a native variety of corn harvested by the Native Americans, which was eaten as corn bread and porridge.
The focus of Thanksgiving may be the feast, but many traditions go into this special day. For us, it is spending time with our family and being grateful for our blessings.
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Isis B. Palicio, LUTCF, MBA
Pedro A. Palicio, MBA, Ph.D.
Infinite Banking Concepts® Authorized Practitioners
We are experts in designing high cash value dividend-paying whole life policies.