Turkey tradition

Families participate in popular Thanksgiving traditions each year


Janey Parks/FHS Press

Average amounts of turkey consumed by Americans every five years starting in 1970 through 2020.

Janey Parks, Staff Writer

Every year on Thanksgiving, families all over the world celebrate in different ways, but many people typically fall into similar traditions. Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863 and takes place on every fourth Thursday in November. Thanksgiving is a holiday intended to give thanks for a pleasurable harvest turnout and encourages people to count all of their blessings in life.

The average family spends time with relatives and friends while eating a scrumptious turkey and other delicious food. 

“Every year my aunts, cousins and uncles come over the day before Thanksgiving and make all different kinds of pies,” sophomore Cassidy Harris said. 

Though many Americans do partake in a Thanksgiving Day feast, a lot of people have other favorable traditions accustomed to their family aside from the dinner. 

One big tradition in many different houses is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the most popular parades in America with nearly 22 million viewers in 2020 alone. During this parade, people gather in New York City’s streets to watch humongous inflatable balloons float among the skyscrapers. 

Another popular Thanksgiving tradition that many families do on a yearly basis is breaking the turkey wishbone. Although it may sound weird to someone who has never done it, breaking the wishbone is important to some superstitious people and others who do it for fun. The wishbone is cut out and set aside so that it can dry out. Typically, once the dinner is cooked and eaten, two people will grab opposite sides of the bone, make a wish and pull. Whoever snaps off the larger side of the wishbone is said to have their wish come true, along with good luck in the year to come.

Additionally, watching football is another big Thanksgiving tradition for Americans. Although watching football on the big screen for Thanksgiving seems like a modern tradition, it has been happening since the 18th century. A few years after Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday is when the annual football custom started. According to History.com, “Yale and Princeton first played on Thanksgiving in 1876, during a time when football was still evolving from a rugby hybrid into the sport we know today, and the holiday later became the traditional date for the Intercollegiate Football Association championship game.” 

Not only do people across the nation enjoy watching their favorite teams compete from the comfort of their own homes or even from the stands of a game, but some families choose to go outside and play their own game of football.  

Families across the globe develop their own routines for their Thanksgiving celebrations and yet a lot of them end up being similar. 

“On Thanksgiving, my mom, sister and I watch the Macy’s Day Parade and then go to my great aunt’s to eat, play games and watch football,” senior Alexis Rinere said. 

Although various families’ plans are quite similar, each and every tradition is special in its own way.