US Thanksgiving Day Traditions

When it comes to Thanksgiving, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Whether you live in the US or Canada, Thanksgiving day is considered as a national holiday, where people celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Yes, this is familiar to many. But do you know all facts related to Thanksgiving? Especially if you live in the US, then can you guess what the most common Thanksgiving Day Traditions are? Before discussing the common tradition, let’s discuss why we called this day as thanksgiving and when or how this thanksgiving Day originated.

What Does Thanksgiving Day Mean in the US?

In the United States, Thanksgiving is considered a national holiday, which is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. This year Thanksgiving Day will be on Thursday, November 24. This special holiday is commonly known as a way to commemorate the colonial Pilgrims’ harvest meal that they shared with Wampanoag Indians in 1621.

Moreover, as years passed, designating feasts dedicated to giving thanks “on an annual or occasional basis became one kind of common practice in other New England settlements.

Origin of Thanksgiving

Past Thanksgiving Ceremony

The actual idea of Thanksgiving originated from the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Before the establishment of Thanksgiving in the US officially, for centuries, Native Americans had celebrated harvest festivals with colonial services to the late 16th century. After a season of bountiful growth, the autumnal feasts celebrated the harvest of crops.

Moreover, in the early 1600s, communities of settlers in Massachusetts and Virginia organized feasts to give thanks for their survival, their field’s fertility and their faith. In addition to that, there were multiple Thanksgiving festivals noticed. Such as, in 1565, Spanish explorers and the local Timucua people of St. Augustine, Florida and in 1619, British settlers proclaimed a day of thanksgiving when they reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River.

However, the most popularly known early Thanksgiving is that of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts, who shared an autumn harvest feast with the Wampanoag Native Americans in 1621.

Thanksgiving Day Traditions in the US

This is the most fun and interesting part of Thanksgiving Day. There are several common traditions that Americans follow, including


Feast at Dinner Table

Well, when it comes to Thanksgiving, then a common tradition we all most care about. Yes, it’s called the feast. Preparing a feast menu is considered as a large part of Thanksgiving celebrations. Traditional foods such as turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet or mashed potatoes, cornbread, and cranberry sauce are one of those that Americans prepare for the celebration of this holiday.

In fact, unlike whole baking turkey in the oven, nowadays, people are followed different recipes like turkey wings recipe, smoked turkey wings recipe, turkey tenderloin recipe, turkey sandwich recipe or turkey wrap recipe.

In fact, dishes like ground turkey and rice recipes are quite famous among Americans. Moreover, if you are currently on a vegan or vegetarian diet, you can try out vegetarian turkey, which can be made from tofu. Besides that, you can eat squash, salads, or fruit and vegetable dishes too.

Wishbone for Good Luck

Wishbone Break for Good Luck

Well, after seeing this line, we are pretty much sure that you have some sweet memory regarding breaking the wishbone; where after finishing the Thanksgiving meal, you and your little sister or brother made the wishes and broke the wishbone.

Basically, this wishbone is attached to the turkey breast meat. After the meat has been finished and the wishbone has become dry and brittle. Then, two people can take this dry and brittle wishbone to make a wish and pull them apart.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Besides feasting, another popular tradition is none other than watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thousands of people in the United States are standing in the street line to watch this Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, where giant inflatable balloons float between the skyscrapers, high above the onlookers.

Shop Till Black Friday

Black Friday Sales in Store

This is another exciting part of thanksgiving that most shopping lovers wait for. The day after Thanksgiving, stores all across the country have some of their biggest sales, known as Black Friday. In fact, if you live in New York, you might already notice Costco Black Friday deals. Besides Costco, other retailers like Dollerstores, Walmart or Aldi offer Black Friday deals, which are also great for Christmas shopping.

Enjoy the American Football Game

American Football Game

Football is the most popular and renowned sport to watch in the US. Moreover, the actual

the idea of games played on Thanksgiving Day dates back as early as 1876, shortly after the game was invented.

Families and friends gather around this holiday to watch their favorite teams compete in one of America’s favorite sports. In addition, to burn some turkey calories, some families split into teams and play a football game themselves.

Grateful for Friendsgiving & Share What You’re Most Thankful for

Thankful Thoughts

Though most people celebrate this special holiday with their family, some prefer celebrating it with their dear friends. This new tradition is called Friendsgiving, where all friends share a meal and enjoy each other’s company before traveling home to join their family.

Moreover, thanksgiving is an ideal time to reflect on the year with family and friends. So, it’s best to share something you’re especially grateful for with your family.


What is the Main Difference Between the US and Canada's Thanksgiving day?

The main difference between the US and Canada's Thanksgiving day is that, in Canada, thanksgiving day will celebrate on the 2nd Monday in October, whereas in the US, it will be the 4th Thursday in November.

How Many Weekends are in the Thanksgiving Holidays in the US?

There will be four days weekend for Thanksgiving in the US.

Final Thoughts

From little ones to old, when it comes to Thanksgiving, everyone eagerly waits to celebrate this day. Because it’s not only just a holiday, it also allows you to spend some time with your dear ones to show and share things you are most thankful for. So, what is your plan for this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday?

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Kiprono Langat
Kiprono Graduated from South Eastern Kenya University in 2019. He graduated with second class honors in actuarial science, but his passion was never to be established in the financial sector. He had a passion for writing, and he has been doing it for more than five years. Kiprono enjoys writing on the things that affect human health, and he has over 2000 articles submitted to various SEO websites. He now works full time as a writer in one of the world’s best SEO companies in Bangladesh. Kiprono understands the importance of working under strict timelines, and his employers give him credit for that. He spends his leisure hours during the weekend doing charity work.

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