Thanksgiving Traditions

Mile High Turkey Trot (provided by Denver Post)

Linda Xie, Zeny Tran, and Madeline Tamanaha

Garvey students begin Thanksgiving vacation on November 22, leading up to Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 25. Reader’s Digest writer Charlotte Andersen reviews several Thanksgiving traditions celebrated in the US.

– Wishbone activity: grab one end of the turkey wishbone while your sibling has the other end, and pull until it snaps. Winner with the larger piece of wishbone gets more dessert.
– Pie tasting: bake or taste the seasonal pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies
– Decorate a tablecloth: draw and color on a plain tablecloth
– Turkey trot: participate in a 5k run on Thanksgiving morning for a healthy start to a day of overeating
– Flag football: a fun way to get people involved in team activities
– Volunteer at homeless shelter: help others who need help during the holidays
– Join a “Friendsgiving”: share a big meal with friends

Provided Skynesher (Getty Images)

A Closer Look at the Thanksgiving Meal

Turkey: The turkey is the main symbol of Thanksgiving and was first recognized as such, ever since American colonist William Bradford wrote about how colonists hunted wild turkeys during the autumn of 1621. The turkey started to gain traction as a Thanksgiving meal after Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday in 1863. Around 45 million turkeys are eaten each year during Thanksgiving in the US. The average turkey sold today weighs over 30 pounds.

Mashed Potatoes: No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without the comfort food of mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes is boiled potatoes mashed up into a paste like consistency.  The potato was first cultivated in Peru by the Inca Indians around 8,000 to 5,000 BC. The recipe for mashed potatoes originated in 1771 when a Frenchman, Antoine Parmentier, held a competition for the best potato recipe. It is believed that this was where the recipe for mashed potato and gravy first originated.

Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry sauce compliments the flavor of the turkey and gravy. Back in the 1500s, the American Indians used cranberries for food, coloring, and even medicine. It was believed that American Indians and Pilgrims ate these tiny red fruits at the first Thanksgiving gatherings. Today Americans consume 80 million pounds of cranberries during Thanksgiving.

Bread Rolls: Buttery bread rolls can serve as a palette cleanser. In making the rolls, the ends of the two rolls touch so that they can be pulled apart during the meal.

Pumpkin pie: The first pumpkin pie was baked by the American settlers of the Plymouth colony in southern New England. This pumpkin pie was made of milk, honey and spices put in a hollowed out pumpkin shell. It was then baked in hot ashes. About 50 years later during the first Thanksgiving, the Native Americans taught the settlers how to prepare pumpkin as a dish for meals and gatherings.

President Biden pardons a turkey named “Peanut Butter” (Provided by AFP) (Olivier Douliery)
Click Photo to see Thanksgiving card sentiments (Zeny Tran)