Thanksgiving traditions, like many other holidays, have a historic background that revolves around moral, values and sometimes even political or economic causes. After all, this day comes close to Christmas season and you might say it’s the kick starter of the busiest times of the year.
We all know the most popular activities and events that are held on this day, but here are some interesting Thanksgiving traditions you might’ve not known about. Would you celebrate some of them?
Curious Thanksgiving traditions: Franksgiving
Although this is a Thanksgiving tradition no longer exists, it was a weird change to the holiday we all know and love. During Roosevelt’s government (more precisely from 1939 to 1941), the president moved Thanksgiving up by a week in order to try to reactivate the economy following the Great Depression. Since Thanksgiving means the beginning of Christmas shopping he thought it would be a great idea. However, the change was met with mixed feelings with some states following orders and others sticking to the original date.
Turkey trot footrace
The first of these events happened in Buffalo, New York in 1896. From that moment on many cities across the country hold their annual Turkey trot footrace. If one of the main Thanksgiving traditions is to stuff your mouth with food, it’s only natural that some people feel a little guilty and want to “compensate” this by going for a run early in the morning of this holiday. The length of the race varies but the purpose is the same and each year more and more racers join this event.
National Dog Show
Believe it or not, there are other things on TV on Thanksgiving asides from the Macy’s parade and the classic NFL games. For people who don’t enjoy sports but still want to spend this holiday in their couch watching TV, a fun Thanksgiving tradition is the Kennel Club of Philadelphia National Dog Show. Believe it or not, it’s a grand tradition for many people to attend or simply watch the emission of this canine contest and delight their eyes with beautiful pedigree dogs strutting around. It doesn’t get better than this.
Great Gobbler Gallop
There are very original Thanksgiving traditions that only certain towns celebrate. The Great Gobble Gallop is one of them. Originated in Cuero, Texas, this turkey race is a part of their Turkey Fest; held since 1912. Farmers would herd their turkeys towards the dressing house and it was such a spectacle that people liked to gather around to see. Nowadays, the champion of the Cuero farm competes against the champion of Worthington, Minnesota. The winning turkey gets a trophy (actually the town gets it) called The Travelling Turkey Trophy of Tumultuous Triumph.
Consumer Thanksgiving traditions: Black Friday
Everybody in America (and outside too) knows about the existence of Black Friday. Sure, it’s all about people shopping and businesses boosting up their sales, but it’s still a tradition related to Thanksgiving since it’s held the day after this holiday. Although the term was first used in the 60’s in Philadelphia to refer to the heavy load of car accidents on this day, it quickly spread and linked to the huge sales and extended working schedules of the stores, with most of them opening 24 hours straight.
Buy Nothing Day
Just like there is Black Friday and more recently Cyber Monday, in 1992 it was first celebrated the “Buy Nothing Day” as a protest of consumerism and as retaliation of both sales days we mentioned before. This day was officially established until 1997 and celebrated by many the day after Thanksgiving, although people outside America celebrate it the Saturday after Thanksgiving. If you’re also against high consumerism and want a pacific way to protest, Buy Nothing Day is the way to go.
Whether they were started by businesses, presidents, politicians or just regular people, you can’t deny these Thanksgiving traditions are very peculiar and put the spark on this special day. It’s always good to learn something new, so next Thanksgiving you can tell friends and family about these curious traditions.
And if you feel like giving your holidays a spin, try incorporating one or more of the Thanksgiving traditions you saw on this list. The important thing is to do fun things with your loved ones and remember to give thanks!