Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, millions of Americans will gather around the dinner table and tuck into a huge Thanksgiving meal that usually involves a bit of turkey. But while this predominantly American holiday isn’t celebrated here in Asia, you can still impress your friends with these little known facts about the Thanksgiving:
1. Traditional Thanksgiving Food Isn't Traditional At All
Roast turkey is synonymous with Thanksgiving celebrations but we hate to burst your bubble but this iconic dish isn’t actually traditional to the holiday at all. Instead, the original pilgrims most likely didn’t even have turkey on the holiday. Instead, they probably had goose, duck, swans or even pigeons!
2. The Day After Thanksgiving Is The Busiest Time Of The Year For Plumbers
With all the cooking, cleaning, priming and general havoc that goes on to get a Thanksgiving meal on the table it’s no wonder that the kitchen feels the brunt of the burden. In fact, Black Friday is actually the busiest day of the year for plumbers, who are left to clean up blocked pipes, post-Thanksgiving.
3. Black Friday Wasn't Always Associated With Massive Shopping Sales
In the 1800’s, “Black Friday” refereed to stock market crashes. The actual “Black Friday” stock market scare happened in 1869, and it was due to the suddenly falling prices of gold. These days, however, this post-Thanksgiving event is a massive shopping spree for those looking to get great discounts.
4. The Famous Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Didn't Used To Feature Floats
The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day festival did not include giant balloons and floats. Instead, the parade was fronted by animals from the Central Park Zoo. Additionally, the balloons weren’t deflated and stored away for the next year like they do now. Instead, they were cut off at the end of the parade and left to float away!
5. Pumpkin Pie Smells Sexy...To Men
This one’s a strange one but if true, start making some pumpkin pies to impress the men in your life. According to a study conducted by the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation , men find the smell of pumpkin pie to be sexually arousing. Apparently, the sweet, spicy aroma of pumpkin is male aphrodisiac. Who knew?!
6. Domesticated Turkeys Can't Fly
Domesticated turkeys that are reared in farms for popular consumption can’t actually fly. This is in total opposition to their wilder cousins who aren’t bred for weight and are actually lighter and can take to the air easily. Wild turkeys also fly up into tress at night to sleep unlike their fatter farm-reared cousins.
(Read more: 10 Filling Foods That Will Help You Lose Weight)
7. Canada Celebrates It Too
While Thanksgiving is predominantly an American holiday, other countries celebrate it too, notably Canada. But unlike the US, which celebrates it on the fourth Thursday of November, Canadians ring in the thanks more than a month earlier on the first Monday of October.
8. Ben Franklin Wanted The Turkey To Be The National Bird
Apparently Ben Franklin liked turkeys so much that he wanted them to be our national bird, instead of the bald eagle. He also said in a letter to his daughter written in 1784 that he thought eagles has “a bad moral character”. How different the Congressional Great Seal would look today if his wish was granted!
9. Jingle Bells Is Actually A Thanksgiving Song
“Jingle Bells” is used at Christmas, but it was originally a Thanksgiving song. Composed by James Pierpont, in 1857, it was performed by children at a Thanksgiving concert. It was so popular that it was used again at Christmas, and has been associated with that holiday ever since.
10. Turkey Is Actually Healthier Than Chicken
We’ve got great news for your waistlines: Even though Thanksgiving is a time to indulge and stuff ourselves with great food, don’t worry…that turkey you’re having second helpings of is actually healthy for you. A 3-ounce serving of chicken contains 240 calories but the same amount of turkey contains just 190.