Thanksgiving, a very British tradition?

We Brits have gone and done it again, first the SUV’s, then the cupcakes and the twerking, now we are emulating their festivities as well.

Thanksgiving is a big deal in the US and Canada and for so many of them it is the start of the festive season. For many it is just as  For many it is just as prominent on the social calander as Christmas.

This year thousands of American and Canadians will celebrate Thanksgiving on 23rd November.

Fact -more US citizens celebrate Thanksgiving than do the Christian holiday.

The History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dates all the way back to 1620 when it began as a simple harvest festival, and is synonymous with the arrival of the Pilgrims on US soil in 1620.

When the pilgrims arrived, they had little rations and the weather was harsh and unforgiving,

When Spring came the Pilgrims planted their own crops and were taught how to grow corn, pumpkin and squash by a Native American named Squanto.

As thanks, the The Pilgrims invited the Native Americans to join them for a harvest feast from then on colonies saw this as an annual feast and thus the festive period was born.

Fact – George Washington named Thanksgiving an official holiday in 1789

It is seen as a public holiday and many schools and offices in the US and Canada will close for a four-day weekend of celebrations.

Much like the traditional British Christmas meal, the Americans all tuck into a turkey dinner, often accompanied by stuffing, sweet potatoes and other vegetables, and followed by a pumpkin pie. Families will sit down to eat together and give thanks for their blessings.

Each year there is a The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which takes place in New York City and is televised across the nation. Thousands of performers attend with gigantic floats of TV and film characters.

Fact -In the White House, the president is traditionally presented with a live turkey, who he will then pardon.

Why we Brits have jumped on the bandwagon

We’ve even given it our own name by removing the ‘thanks’ and adding good old ‘brits’ to the beginning. According to Waitrose, one in six of us will celebrate “Brits-giving” on the 23rd November 2017 But will we really become a nation that enjoys candied yams with our roast dinner?

Like many things, we are inspired by our cousins across the pond and take a lot of our food-trend cues from them. Supermarket reports that turkey sales in November are up 39 per cent. “There is a demand now for key ingredients such as pumpkin purée, sweet potatoes, turkey and cranberries soaring around this time of year

Fact – Thanksgiving is a tradition which celebrates the pilgrims having escaped this country, so it’s pretty ironic that we as a nation now wish to celebrate!

What’s on your menu this thanksgiving?

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