The season of gratitude is upon us with thanksgiving around the corner. Next to Christmas, this is one of the most celebrated festivals in the world. Thanksgiving traditionally revolves around family, friends and of course, food! And while you pass the turkey around the table this year, we have you covered with some exciting trivia at this festival.
Whether you are having dinner with your university friends or watching the parade with your gang, you will need something to keep the conversation going. So here are some fun facts about Thanksgiving from around the world.
Thanksgiving did not Originate in the US!
Even though Thanksgiving is celebrated primarily in the US and Canada, it did not originate there. The roots of this festival can actually be traced back to ancient Greece (no surprise there). Thanksgiving is all about celebrating gratitude for harvest every year which the Greeks have been doing since time immemorial. And now the Greek community across the globe adds their own twist to thanksgiving dishes as well!
Girl Power Made Thanksgiving Official!
Thanksgiving as we know today, wouldn’t have been possible if not for a very determined woman. Sarah Josepha Hale lobbied the US Congress for years, hoping to make thanksgiving an official holiday. It was in 1863 when her efforts were finally recognised and President Lincoln declared this festival of gratitude a National Holiday.
Turkey was not on the Original Menu!
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of thanksgiving? The big turkey in the middle of the table right? But did you know that turkey was not even on the original menu back in 1621? People indulged in other foods like lobsters and seals. So even if you are not doing the turkey this year, you’ll still be in line with a longstanding tradition.
Dreading to be alone on your first thanksgiving abroad? Go over to our Facebook community page to connect with fellow aspirants and make amazing thanksgiving plans.
Strangest Thanksgiving in the World!
While most countries like the UK, US or Canada welcome thanksgiving with the fall season and festive lattes from Starbucks, in Australia it’s a whole different story. The Land Down Under celebrates Thanksgiving in flip flops, on the beach! So if you are in Australia on your student journey this Thanksgiving, be sure to head to the country’s many beautiful beaches or simply watch the thanksgiving parade with your friends.
Thanksgiving Leftovers are more Favourable than the Actual Meal!
Weirdly, 8 out of 10 Americans prefer the leftovers from thanksgiving meals than the original one. From the delicious turkey stuffing to the mashed potatoes, some even make expert concoctions from them. So whether you go for a second act of the entire feast the next day or raid the fridge at midnight, you are definitely in luck!
A Different Thanksgiving in the North
Did you know that Canada celebrates thanksgiving on a different date compared to the rest of the world? While in the US, thanksgiving pays respect to the Pilgrims, in Canada, it is all about celebrating the English Explorer Martin Frobisher. But this doesn’t mean there are no similarities between both! Canadian thanksgiving too has the big bad feast, football marathons and parades!
The First Thanksgiving Parade had Real Animals in it!
The first thanksgiving day parade which was held in 1924 has real animals borrowed from the Central Park zoo parading on the streets! The Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade as it is now known had monkeys, camels, bears and even elephants back then. But don’t worry because the huge balloon animals that are used in their place are equally amusing and will bring out your inner child.
So there you have it – a lot of interesting conversation starters to impress your uni friends with this thanksgiving. Do not forget to be thankful for the little things in life and hope for an amazing study abroad journey this festive season.