Thanksgiving Holiday Traditions in the United States

Every fourth Thursday of November in the United States, an important holiday is celebrated: Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest travel holidays during the year. Nearly 51 million people will travel 50 miles or more this holiday weekend to be with family and friends, according to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Welocalize would like to send thanks and best wishes to all our clients, employees, colleagues and partners all over the world! As part of this year’s celebrations, here are some Thanksgiving facts and traditions:

  1. Thanksgiving Day was officially proclaimed by President Abraham Lincolnin 1863 and in 1941 it was officially declared by the United States Congress as a holiday.
  1. At Thanksgiving, families get together for a celebration meal. It is often traditional to offer a prayer of thanks for the good things that happen before the meal. The main dish in this dinner is typically turkey, accompanied by side dishes such as sweet potatoes, breadcrumb stuffing and cranberry sauce. Let’s not forget the desserts, like pecan pie, apple pie and the famous pumpkin pie!
  1. Macy’s department store in New York City organizes a huge parade through the streets of Manhattan, attracting millions of people each year to see the enormous giant balloons and watch performances by guest artists. It is billed as the world’s largest parade. Other parades also take place in different cities throughout the United States.
  1. Another Thanksgiving Day tradition is football—whether playing catch with friends and family or watching the top National Football League (NFL) teams on television.
  1. Thanksgiving is also celebrated throughout the year in other parts of the world. In Canada, it is celebrated every second Monday of October. Similar festivities are also celebrated in Germany, Japan, Liberia and Vietnam.

Some Little-Known Facts About Thanksgiving Turkey….

According to the National Turkey Federation, 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day. In the United States alone, around 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving Day, which equates to one-fifth of the total number of turkeys consumed every year in the United States (254 million in total).

For more than 30 years, the turkey experts that make up the Turkey Talk-Line at Butterball® have been answering turkey-related questions during the holiday season. Open every November and December, 50+ experts answer more than 100,000 questions. For the past few years, the talk-line has offered Spanish-speaking experts, social media support and live online chats. You can send them texts, too.

Each year, a few hours before Thanksgiving dinner, the President of the United States pardons a turkey. This lucky turkey is guaranteed to spend its life living freely and never to end up on a dinner plate. This ceremony dates back to 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was the first to organize an event to pardon the life of a turkey. But it wasn’t until 1987 that President Ronald Reagan instituted the turkey pardon as a custom and since then it has continued. 

For Welocalize, as a multinational company, some holidays are “local” and some are global. On November 23 and 24, our U.S. offices will be closed as employees spend time with their friends and families.

Welocalize would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!