Happy Thanksgiving and why we eat turkey to celebrate it


Having gone through a very major and delicate operation very recently, I have become more grateful than ever before for life.  For me, everyday from now on is thanksgiving day.



A lot of families have probably started preparing their turkey yesterday.  240 million turkeys find their way to the thanksgiving dinner table in the USA.  But why turkey?  Why not a good slab of beef, or roasted chicken?

The turkey is probably the most celebrated “foreigner” in America.  Author Andrew J Smith wrote a book entitled “Turkey: an American Story”.  He mentions in his book that the turkey originated from Asia and was introduced to North America.  Then it was domesticated in Mexico where the Europeans discovered it. They then introduced it to Europe by 1550.  You can read more about this on his website. 

But what is Thanksgiving and why eat turkey on this day?  Americans have been celebrating this for centuries and the first documented celebration was in 1621 when the new pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians celebrated their autumn harvest. Thanks to the late President Abraham Lincoln, he declared thanksgiving to be a national holiday from 1863.  There were a lot of pumpkins so pumpkin pie was also on the table.

Thanksgiving harvest

Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has sent a turkey to the White House.  The president grants “clemency” to this turkey and is free from being served on the dinner table.  See President Obamas pardon for Thanksgiving 2016.

Some say turkey is served because of its size.  They can feed more around the thanksgiving table than a roasted chicken.  Some say it was from British traditions that was brought over by the first pilgrims.  This is because the classic dinner of turkey, pumpkin pie and cranberries was from New England.  Perhaps it was because Benjamin Franklin once said that the turkey was more American than the bald-eagle.  Today everyone has their own version of a Thanksgiving meal.

Whatever the real reason for eating turkey, we celebrate today with our fellow Americans.  We have a lot to be grateful for.  Be good, be kind.


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