It’s not just about the turkey anymore; Thanksgiving traditions change over time

By Kennedy Werner

Let us go back to 1620, when that tiny and famous ship, the Mayflower, sailed from England to Massachusetts containing 120 pilgrims. One year after settlement, the pilgrims and the Native Americans of the area celebrated the pilgrims’ first corn harvest in a huge three-day feast, otherwise known as the “first Thanksgiving”.  On the menu, five deer, swans, goose, duck, shellfish, lobster, and pumpkin.

While the first celebration was merely about traditional food and giving thanks, the modern day Thanksgiving encompasses many new rituals. Unlike the “first Thanksgiving” the majority of Americans do not eat shellfish, but rather juicy, soft turkey; bright, crunchy corn; soft, rich potatoes; sweet, tart cranberry sauce; flavorful, savory ham; and sugary, warm pie.

“There’s nothing better than waking up to the smell of turkey in the oven and cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma, and grandpa talking over hors d’oeuvre,” said junior Hallie Antoon.

Other than the grand meal and deserts, most modern traditions include either Thanksgiving Day Football or the 87th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“The parade is awesome,” said sophomore Emily Money, “The celebrities and excitement makes it worth watching.”

This year’s football games include Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions at 12:30pm, Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys at 4:30pm, and Pittsburg Steelers at Baltimore Ravens at 8:30pm.

“The matchups for Thanksgiving this year are crazy,” said junior Taif Abduljabar, “I cannot wait to see the Ravens play, it will be like the Super Bowl all over again.”

The Thanksgiving Parade will have appearances from American favorites, Jimmy Kimmel and the cast of Duck Dynasty. Also, performers like Ariana Grande and Fall Out Boy will serenate the 50 million people tuning in and 2.5 million people attending.

“I’m so excited to see Ariana Grande perform,” said junior Alexa Isso, “I love how cute the entire parade is put together.”

Furthermore, the day after Thanksgiving kicks off the start of the holiday season shopping nightmare, Black Friday. Nearly 250 billion people will go Black Friday shopping this year, spending on average $400!

So, what exactly are the deals that an expected 250 billion people are planning on taking advantage of? The Nintendo 3DS XL and iPad Air at Best Buy, and deals at Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Forever 21, and Converse to name a few.

“Last year I went Black Friday shopping and there was literally tons of people,” said junior Sammy Boudouris, “I am planning on going again because of the great deals, but it is rather exhausting.”

Also newly popular is Cyber Monday.  120 million Americans are expected to participate in the online event.

“Bloomingdales is the place to go on Cybermonday,” said junior Jamiee Sandiha, “Not only are the deals great, but the clothes and shoes are lovely.”

So whether your favorite part is the delicious meal and dessert with whipped cream or it’s the television hype, or it’s merely the shopping deals, Thanksgiving is a time when we are meant to be thankful for the times we have together; so laugh a lot, fill your belly, and share memories to kick of the holiday season.

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