Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that tend to revolve around family and food. While those are definitely two of our favorite components, the important (and fascinating!) facts are often overlooked. Whether you’re looking for an interesting conversation starter or just really want to know more about Thanksgiving, these surprising facts will make you seem like the smartest person at the dinner table.
But before we start: did you know, the first Thanksgiving had been held in the autumn of 1621 and included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians and lasted three days? On the top of that many historians believe that only five women were present at that first Thanksgiving, as many women settlers didn’t survive that difficult first year in the U.S.
Now we are clear with the basics, let’s start with the fact!
Fact nr. 1.
Thanksgiving is ranked as America’s second most popular holiday, after Christmas.
Fact nr. 2.
Americans eat 46 million turkeys (roughly 535 million pounds of turkey) each Thanksgiving. This might have been one of the reasons Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle.
Fact nr. 3.
You might consume up to 229 grams fat during the big meal. We hate to break it to you, but that’s about three to four times the amount of fat you should eat in a day. You’re probably also wondering how many calories you might eat – the average American will consume about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day: about 3,000 for the meal and an additional 1,500 for snacking.
Fact nr. 4.
Each year, the president of the U.S pardons a turkey and spares it from being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner. The first turkey pardon ceremony started with President Truman in 1947, though Abraham Lincoln is said to have informally started the practice when he pardoned his son’s pet turkey. In 2007, George W. Bush granted a pardon to two turkeys named May and Flower. President Obama pardoned a 45-pound turkey named Courage, who has flown to Disneyland and served as Grand Marshal of the park’s Thanksgiving Day parade!
Fact nr. 5.
Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour when they are scared, but domesticated turkeys that are bred are heavier and can’t run quite that fast.
Fact nr. 6.
The heaviest turkey on record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, weighs 86 pounds. The average turkey for Thanksgiving weighs 15 pounds.
Fact nr. 7.
An estimated 50 million pumpkin pies are eaten on Thanksgiving. But according to The American Pie Council, more Americans prefer apple pie overall – pumpkin only comes in second place.
Fact nr. 8.
The wishbone of the turkey is used in a good luck tradition on Thanksgiving. The tradition consists of two people tugging on either end of the bone trying to win the larger piece. Whoever wins the larger piece gets to make a wish.
Fact nr. 9.
In the United States, football is a major part of the Thanksgiving celebration. Dating back to the first college football game between Yale and Princeton that was held on Thanksgiving Day in 1876, football games have since become synonymous with Thanksgiving ever since. It’s interesting to think that one football game played in 1876 would have such an impact and create a tradition that would be carried on for years to come.
Fact nr. 10.
The very first Thanksgiving actually failed to include turkey. Looking back, it seems like the famous bird just wasn’t on the menu when the Puritans and the pilgrims celebrated long ago. In fact, back in 1621 during the first documented “Thanksgiving,” the day was probably more focused on religious ceremonies than dinner.
After all these fun and interesting facts would you be interested in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in Budapest? Because we have one to offer: click here, check the details and celebrate with your friends and family on Thanksgiving!