Thanksgiving Traditions: Then and Now

A holiday in America that revolves around a delicious turkey meal, enjoying a football match and shopping until you fall tired is much about traditions. Certainly, the definition and celebration of Thanksgiving Day has transformed from pre-historic to the present time. However, the spirit of festivity is the same, i.e. being grateful to Lord and all others who inspire us to lead a meaningful life.

As an important part of the tradition, a special thanks-giving prayer precedes the meal of the day. This custom is regarded and followed until today even by the kids. Modern thanksgiving is more about fun and enjoying your holiday; nevertheless, it does not mean that basic traditions are overlooked. It is just that the ways of merry making have grown much more amusing and entertaining.

It wasn’t turkey: Facts reveal that the first thanksgiving was not cherished with a turkey feast. The Pilgrims ate venison, lobster, cod fish, and other wild fowls. With an abundance of turkey in New England thereafter, turkeys have become the staple food of the day.

A more realistic reason of including this bird in the diet is its huge size. One full turkey can serve all family members at the same time. Moreover, the bird isn’t a source of any useful byproduct, like milk from cows and eggs from chickens.

It wasn’t an official holiday: Until Lincoln took over the charge in America, Thanksgiving was not observed as a public holiday.

In fact, it is interesting to know that before 1863, whether the occasion will be a holiday depended upon the mood of the President. If the leader felt festive, he might declare it as an official holiday. Then came Lincoln, and lucky us that Thanksgiving is now an official holiday in America and many other countries.

No football matches and fanciful parades: In the earlier times, there were parades involving wild animals. It was not much entertaining to watch those parades and thus, commenced a custom of organizing carnivals with unique cartoon characters in the form of huge balloons. The first of this included Mickey Mouse balloon parade. Since then, kids have been enjoying watching pomp and show on the day. With growing modernism, these parades have become much more fascinating.

Also, playing a football match on Thanksgiving was a recent tradition that started in the year 1934 by G.A. Richards. He held the franchise of Detroit Lions and scheduled a game on Thanksgiving against Chicago Bears. The game was broadcast nationwide, making it a success and thereby a tradition.

Modern recipes include cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and delectable cupcakes: While it was purely a meat-eating day, you can see a lot of variety on your dinner table today. Delectable cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, cupcakes, pepper salads and many more mouth-watering desserts. This has made the Thanksgiving treat much more toothsome.

Ever-increasing craze for shopping: Shopping and exchanging valuable gifts have become popular trends among people. People shop for their kids and other relatives and friends, to honor each other’s existence in life. This practice spreads smiles all around as a gift given on special occasions create memories.

Gift-giving was not much prevalent in the earlier times; saying ‘Thank you’ and dining together were the key features of the celebration. However, holiday shopping and giving expensive gifts to loved ones such as jewelry are trending now.

Our generation is really fortunate to have such fun-filled activities of celebrating Thanksgiving.

What makes you really contented on Thanksgiving? Is it a football match, sumptuous dinner or anything more electrifying? Share your thoughts on this; an idea from your end can make someone’s holiday more rejoicing than ever.

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