The most common Thanksgiving holiday traditions are:
- Giving Thanks
- Thanksgiving Day Parade
- Breaking the wishbone
- Turkey and Trimming
I am unclear how the genealogy section of About.com determined this; yet intuitively it appears correct. Ever curious (and always looking for content for my column), I wondered how these came to be; so I did some research. I share.
According to historians, the Pilgrims never observed an annual Thanksgiving banquet in autumn. In the year 1621, they did celebrate a feast following their first harvest, but this ceremony was never repeated. (Oddly, most devoutly religious pilgrims of that time did observe a day of thanksgiving, but they did so by fasting.) George Washington was the first president to declare the holiday, in 1789.