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5 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving

To tide you over through the coming week of anticipation, enjoy these five fun facts about Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving Day just around the corner, you can certainly already smell the delicate spice of pumpkin pie wafting up from the oven door, or maybe your mouth is starting to water at the thought of Grandma’s steaming mashed potatoes. So to tide you over through the coming week of anticipation, enjoy these five fun facts about Thanksgiving:

  1. Despite Thanksgiving having a very American feel, the US isn’t the only country that celebrates a national day of thanks. Many countries, ranging from Canada to Germany, Liberia to Japan, have similar fall festivals to commemorate the year’s harvest and to give thanks to those around them. 
  2. I’m sure each of us has heard the story of the first Thanksgiving the Mayflower pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth. What you might not realize is that the feast could have been a tradition they picked up from their long stay in the Netherlands before setting sail for the New World—a festival that has more to do with liberation from war and siege than it does with a good harvest.
  3. Though Thanksgiving was a regional tradition of New England in the early years of the States, it wasn’t officially made a national holiday until after the battle of Gettysburg when President Lincoln declared a day of thanksgiving to be held on the last Thursday in November. He intended it to be a day of commemorating all the nation had lost during the Civil War as well as a day of hope for all that was to come. 
  4. Shocking as it sounds, the popular Christmas song “Jingle Bells” was originally intended for Thanksgiving! Its author, James Lord Pierpont, apparently wrote the song for a concert his local Sunday school was putting on for Thanksgiving Day. 
  5. Although Thanksgiving is arguably the one day of the year when the most calories are consumed, it is also a day in which many of those calories are burned. Thanksgiving is quickly becoming the most popular day in the year to hold races, and according to Runners USA and Runner’s World, nearly 1 million people in the US join in on annual “Turkey Trot” races before setting out to enjoy the day’s festivities with family and friends! 
Thanksgiving dinner