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Did you know that every Thanksgiving Americans consume about 50 million turkeys? Thanksgiving, or coloquially referred to as “Turkey Day”, is the quintessential U.S. national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. This year, it falls on November 27th.

Thanksgiving is also a very important date on the calendar for travellers, as over 42 million trips are made in the United States during the holiday. To learn more about what Thanksgiving is all about, read on and check out these facts and curiosities about the holiday.

Thanksgiving Turkey
Photo by: Ruocaled via Flickr

1. Horn of Plenty

The Cornucopia is one of the most famous symbols in the Thanksgiving season. Shaped like a horn, the cornucopia is filled with harvest vegetables as a symbol of abundance. Also known as the horn of plenty, it was orginally a gift  to Zeus, the Greek God. 

Photo by Carmen via Flickr
Photo by Carmen via Flickr

2. After dinner…football

Football is a big deal on Thanksgiving. Even if you’re not a big football fan, you won’t be able to avoid it on Thanksgiving. It is a tradition that dates back to 1934, making it a perfect after dinner activity for most American households.

thanksgiving3. Turkey meat makes you sleepy

This is no urban legend. Scientific studies certify that turkey meat does make you slepy. Turkey meat contains the amino acid, tryptophan, which produces a sense of calm and sleep. Good thing it’s nothing that a comfy couch and a long football game can’t remedy.

4. The start of the holiday season

It’s not really the holiday season until you have had Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving Day is considered the official start of the holiday season in the US. For many families it’s a day of celebration and being thanksful. In many cases it is even more important than the other holidays that follow. For this reason, it is one of the busiest days for air travel in the United States.

5. “Black Friday”

The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, where originally, stores would open early on Friday morning with earlybird specials and big sales to crowds of customers looking to get a good deal. Recently, retailers have been opening as early as Thursday evening. Black Friday gets its name because it is the day when stores begin to turn a profit, or are “in the black”.

6. “Cyber Monday”

‘Cyber ​​Monday’ occurs after Black Friday and caters to the world of online shopping. Big sales and great discounts can be found online. It is a very popular and profitable day and it seems that workers heading back to the office on the Monday after Thanksgiving aren’t missing out , as about 75% of purchases are made from work.

7. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, NYC

If you are planning a holiday during Turkey Day, you must experience the splendor of a Thanksgiving in New York. The Big Apple does this holiday big with the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This tradition dates back to 1924 and is a marvelous display of parade floats, cheerleaders, marching bands and the iconic large balloons. The parade began when most department store workers were first-generation immigrants and decided to celebrate the American holiday with a parade inspired by festivals in their home countries.

Photo by: Martha_Chapa95 via Flickr
Photo by: Martha_Chapa95 via Flickr

Extra fun fact

Did you know that Thanksgiving was not always about the turkey and the cranberry sauce? Back in the 1600’s pilgrims used seasonal ingredients like deer, fish, nuts, squash and potatoes to create the feast.

Did we miss a few of your favorite curious facts about Thanksgiving? Share them with us!

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