Mainly celebrated in North America, Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated dinners of the entire year. The abundance of food in the company of loved ones helps set the tone of appreciating all that we are thankful for in life.
This tradition dates all the way back to the first settlers of the continent. They would celebrate the fall harvest before the coming of the harsh cold winter. Though the basic history behind Thanksgiving is well known, these more obscure facts about the holiday are sure to come as a surprise.
1. The busiest day of the year for plumbers is on Black Friday, when most people realize all that food and waste has clogged their pipes.
2. The World Championship Punkin Chunkin is held each year in Delaware during November. Pumpkins are launched into the sky to see whose will go the farthest. The world record is currently at 4,694 feet.
3. The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade featured animals from the Central Park Zoo instead of floats and giant balloons.
4. Black Friday was originally a term for stock market crashes. The actual Black Friday crash occurred in 1869 when there was a sudden drop in the price of gold.
5. "Jingle Bells" is typically sung at Christmas, but it was originally a Thanksgiving song. The song was so popular after it was performed at a Thanksgiving concert that it was sung again at Christmas. Ever since then, it has become associated with that holiday.
6. On Thanksgiving in 2007, 690 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the United States.
7. More people change their Facebook status to “In a Relationship” or “Engaged" during the fall season.
8. Overeating during Thanksgiving dinner is what typically puts people to sleep. It is a myth that the tryptophan in turkey is the cause.
9. Campbell's created green bean casserole for their annual cookbook over 50 years ago. Today, more than 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving.
10. At a Best Buy in Beaumont, two people once arrived 22 days in advance for Black Friday.
11. Children born between the months of September and November are statistically more likely to live to the age of 100.
12. Research shows that women lose more hair in the fall than at any other time. This is most likely a result of taking hot showers.
13. Millions of birds migrate each fall. The longest migration of all birds is that of the Arctic tern, which travels 22,000 miles.
14. The largest turkey ever recorded by Guinness was 86 pounds.
15. Swanson misjudged the number of frozen turkeys it would sell during the 1953 Thanksgiving holidays. The result was 26 tons of excess turkeys. The frozen meat was repackaged and this led to the creation of TV dinners.
16. One of the three fruits that are actually native to North America is the cranberry. It is estimated to be served at 94% of all Thanksgiving dinners.
17. Ben Franklin wanted the national bird to be the turkey. He had always felt that bald eagles had bad moral character.
18. On Thanksgiving, the average person consumes 4,500 calories. That is enough to gain about 1.3 pounds.
19. The writer of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb" played an important role in making Thanksgiving a national holiday. After petitioning for 17 years through a letter-writing campaign, Sarah Josepha Hale convinced President Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a holiday in 1863.
20. Frazee, Minnesota is home to the world's largest man-made turkey. It is 20 feet tall and weighs 5,000 pounds.