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Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving Traditions
November 25, 2015
Every 4th Thursday of November, families wake up to traditions that have been enriched by each generation. From trekking out at dawn to search for that elusive buck you’ve been eyeing for years to trekking into the living room guided by the smells of herbed turkey and the sounds of the announcers describing the balloons floating in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Maybe you immediately strap on your old cleats to beat your brother in the annual Fairway Lawns flag football. Maybe you dust off your workout pants to stretch for Black Friday shopping. Whatever the tradition may be, it’s always interesting to know how exactly they got started.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. New York City has been hosting this treasure since 1924, when America and specifically the east coast was host to many European immigrants who wanted to celebrate their heritage combined with their newfound freedom. They marched in brightly colored costumes alongside floats representing their countries and bands to keep the crowds dancing in the cold weather.
Turkey. No matter the form it takes – roasted, grilled, fried, stuffed into a chicken or duck – there’s always turkey. But why not Thanksgiving steak? Or Thanksgiving salmon? Most people have landed on the theory that Wampanoag Indians and pilgrims ate turkey at Plymouth due to a diary entry in 1621 where a reference to the feast includes a mention of a turkey hunting excursion prior to the meal. Years later in the mid-1800s Sarah J. Hale –a magazine editor at the time- used the turkey as the main focal point for the Thanksgiving edition and from then on we have eaten the unfortunate-looking, but delicious bird.
Football. This tradition kicked off with a Yale vs Princeton game in 1876. The NFL liked the idea of marrying the holiday with the game and created the Thanksgiving Classic in 1920. This honor has been bestowed to the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions with an alternating team hosting the evening game.
Black Friday. Marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, this chaotic day was birthed in the think tanks of retailers relying heavily on holiday shoppers to increase profits for them before the end of the year. The term refers the type of ink accountants use to indicate profit gained as opposed to red ink referring to profit loss.
Whether you’re using your Fairway lawn to serve turkey with cranberry sauce, construct a float, tackle your brother, or practice sprinting for the flat screen TV, we are here to ensure your Thanksgiving holiday is one to remember.