BHG.com / Thanksgiving / Thanksgiving Crafts / The History of Thanksgiving from Better Homes and Gardens
- Savoring the Turkey According to the National Turkey Federation, nearly 88 percent of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving. Dating back to New England harvest traditions, eating turkey is the enduring symbol of the holiday. In the South, some prefer their turkey deep-fried rather than roasted in the traditional Yankee fashion. No matter how the turkey is prepared, Americans will eat more than 730 million pounds of turkey alone on this holiday.
- Watching the Thanksgiving Parade In addition to the big football games, most Americans watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, one of the biggest and most famous parades. Whether you watch it on TV or go to New York City to see it in person, the day would not be complete without the sky-high balloons, the Radio City Rockettes, and Santa bringing up the rear on his sleigh. Locals and visitors alike congregate the night before the parade to watch the floats as they're inflated and to stake out a place for great sight lines the next morning.
- Holiday Volunteering As Americans gather to share the year's bounty, families also reach out to those less fortunate. Volunteering at soup kitchens is a time-honored way to express our thanks and give back to the community; many organizations hold food drives and host free dinners for those in need during the holiday season.
- Pulling Apart the Wishbone Who gets the wishbone in your family? Ever since the time of the Etruscans (an ancient Italian civilization), people have been pulling apart the forked bone from a turkey, chicken, or other fowl and making a wish. The Romans brought the tradition with them when they conquered England, and the English brought it to America.