Monday, November 20, 2017

Weird Thanksgiving Traditions

Turkeys, Birds, Poultry, Feather, Bird  Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Most of us will cook a turkey, make mashed potatoes, have candied yams, cranberries, bread, and all the trimmings.  I'll probably be celebrating Thanksgiving with a coworker who has opened up her house to those who do not have a family near by.

Some communities have added a little bit extra to improve the festivities of the day.  Activities beyond the traditional enjoyment of parades and football games.

I'll begin with the tradition most people partake in, breaking the wishbone to be granted your hearts desire if you get the larger half.  This tradition has been around a very long time, originating in ancient Rome when Romans broke a chicken's wishbone.

Then there is the presidential turkey pardon.  The president pardons one turkey out of millions to survive another year rather than eating it.  Of course, he is the only one who does it and I don't think its actually one of his powers so its more of a symbolic act.

Many cities schedule a 3 mile run after the meal so people can dress up as turkeys, work off the meal and its associated calories.  I used to live in a place where the local YMCA offered a nice long workout first thing Thanksgiving morning so people could work off calories in advance and charged a can of food to be given to the local food bank later.

Of course, we can't forget the turkey toss where people see how far they can throw a frozen turkey.  In Indianapolis, Indiana, people go a step further by lighting them on fire before throwing them.  I remember a WKRP episode from reruns where Les the newsman arranged to drop the turkeys out of a helicopter.  I think they were alive when he did that and they created a huge mess.

In 1988, someone began the tradition of turkey bowling where they use a frozen turkey instead of a bowling ball and half empty bottles of soda pop for the pins.  It's usually held in the frozen foods section of the grocery store but could really happen anywhere.

Of course there are food traditions such as jello dishes with pineapple, walnuts, etc.  My grandmother always contributed a vegetable jello dish made out of celery jello, a can of mixed vegetables and she'd put in a fancy ring so it looked pretty.  Another aunt provided her candied yams with brown sugar, marshmallows, and walnuts.  It was such a treat for us.

Look for how other countries give thanks through their celebrations.  Let me know what you think.

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