Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to come together, express gratitude, and enjoy a festive meal. Here are some common Thanksgiving traditions that people often partake in:
- Feast: The centerpiece of Thanksgiving is a large, hearty meal that typically includes a roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, vegetables, and various side dishes. Pumpkin pie and other desserts are often enjoyed as well.
- Turkey Pardon: In the United States, it has become a tradition for the President to pardon a live turkey, sparing it from being part of the Thanksgiving meal. This lighthearted gesture is followed by the presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the President.
- Family Gathering: Many people travel to spend Thanksgiving with family members. It’s a time to reconnect, share stories, and enjoy each other’s company.
- Thanksgiving Parade: Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is a longstanding tradition for many families. The parade features floats, giant balloons, marching bands, and performances.
- Gratitude: Before the meal, it’s common for everyone to go around the table and share something they are thankful for. This is a moment of reflection and appreciation.
- Volunteer Work: Some families and individuals choose to spend part of their Thanksgiving volunteering at soup kitchens, shelters, or other community service activities to help those in need.
- Football: Watching football games, whether at home or in person, is a cherished tradition for many on Thanksgiving Day.
- Black Friday Shopping: The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, has become synonymous with shopping deals and discounts, prompting some people to participate in early-morning or late-night shopping trips.
- Cooking and Baking: Preparing traditional family recipes and sharing the responsibility of cooking and baking with loved ones is a cherished Thanksgiving tradition.
- Friendsgiving: In addition to celebrating with family, some individuals also host “Friendsgiving” gatherings with their close friends. These gatherings often involve a potluck-style meal.
- Decorations: Decorating the house with autumn-themed decor, such as pumpkins, leaves, and candles, adds to the festive atmosphere.
- Outdoor Activities: Depending on the weather, some families might engage in outdoor activities like hikes, nature walks, or touch football games.
- Thanksgiving Crafts: Children and adults alike might participate in Thanksgiving-themed crafts and activities, creating place cards, centerpieces, or other decorations.
- Watching Movies: After the meal, some families enjoy watching movies together, either classic Thanksgiving-themed films or other family favorites.
- Leftovers: After the feast, leftovers are often enjoyed for days. Some people even look forward to the creative meals they can make from the leftovers.