Thanksgiving Day Celebration
Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States every year on the fourth Thursday of November. American families follow customs that begun on the first Thanksgiving Day, but numerous families have their own family traditions. Here are several common customs that are spread in the United States during this holiday.
A great part of this holiday takes traditional food. In many families, each member is included in the preparation process of various dishes. The most popular dishes on Thanksgiving are turkey, gravy, stuffing, cornbread, sweet potato, mashed potato, and cranberry sauce. Popular pie flavors for the dessert are pumpkin, apple, sweet potato, and pecan.
Numerous families select vegetarian Thanksgiving dishes. There are even those who cook vegetarian turkey made out of tofu. However, the majority of vegetarians eat salads, squash, and other delicious fruit and vegetable dishes.
The Turkey Pardon
Every year, during this holiday, the President of the USA receives a gift of an alive turkey. There is a tradition when he traditionally “pardons” this turkey, thus letting it to spend the rest of its life on a farm.
Plenty of generous folks help the less fortunate ones on this holiday. There are people who volunteer to serve food at homeless shelters, and there are those who participate in canned food drives or donate to shelters.
A great thing about this American holiday is to spend the whole day with family. Many people live far from their families, so they travel long distances to get to their loved ones.
Some families have a tradition of breaking the turkey's wishbone on Thanksgiving. This bone is found attached to the turkey’s breast meat. As soon as the meat is removed and this bone becomes dry, two people take both ends of the wishbone, make a wish, and pull the bone. The one who ends up with the bigger part of the wishbone gets his/her wish.
After the Meal
After a big family dinner, everyone does certain additional activities. Some prefer to take walks after a big meal, while others take naps or play card games together with their loved ones.
TV plays a big part in the process of this holiday celebration. Numerous families like to watch the New York City Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade that features marching bands, performances of famous musicians, huge helium-filled balloons, floats, and songs. There are also families that prefer watching televised football games on Thanksgiving.