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Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day (Nicknamed: Turkey DayThanksgiving [Día del Pavo] and called El Día de Acción de Gracias by Spanish-speaking Latinos in the U.S.), is an annual holiday celebrated in much of North America, generally observed as an expression of gratitude, usually to God.

The most common view of its origin is that it was to give thanks to God for the bounty of the autumn harvest. In the United States, the holiday is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. In Canada, where the harvest generally ends earlier in the year, the holiday is celebrated on the second Monday in October, which is observed as Columbus Day or protested as Indigenous Peoples Day in the United States.

Last Updated - 13th November 2005

Traditional celebration

Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with a feast shared among friends and family. In both Canada and the United States, it is an important family gathering, and people often travel long distances to be with family members for the celebration. The Thanksgiving holiday is generally a "four-day weekend" in the United States, in which Americans are given the relevant Thursday and Friday off. Thanksgiving is usually celebrated almost entirely at home, unlike the Fourth of July or Christmas, which are associated with a variety of shared public experiences (fireworks, caroling, etc). In Canada, it is a three-day weekend as Thanksgiving is observed on the second Monday of October every year.

Thanksgiving Dinner

The centerpiece of contemporary Thanksgiving in the United States and Canada is a large meal, typically in the late afternoon or evening, starring a large roasted turkey. Because turkey is the most common main dish of a Thanksgiving dinner, Thanksgiving is sometimes colloquially called Turkey Day in the USA. The USDA estimated that 269 million turkeys were raised in the country in 2003, about one-sixth of which were destined for a Thanksgiving dinner plate.

Foods other than turkey are sometimes served as the main dish for a Thanksgiving dinner. Goose and duck, foods which were traditional European centerpieces of Christmas dinners before being displaced by turkeys, are now ironically sometimes served in place of the Thanksgiving turkey. On the West Coast of the United States, Dungeness crab is common as an alternate main dish, as crab season starts in early November. Turducken, a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, is becoming more popular, from its base in Louisiana. Deep-fried turkey is rising in popularity as well, requiring special fryers to hold the large bird, and reportedly leading to fires and bad burns. In Maryland sauerkraut is eaten. Vegetarians or vegans may try tofurkey, a tofu based dish with imitation turkey flavor.

Many other foods are served alongside the main dish — so many that, because of the amount of food, the Thanksgiving meal is sometimes served midday or early afternoon to make time for all the eating, and preparation may begin at the crack of dawn or days before.

Traditional Thanksgiving foods are sometimes specific to the day, and although some of the foods might be seen at any semi-formal meal in the United States, the meal often has something of ritual or traditional quality.

Commonly served dishes include cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, candied yams, green beans and stuffing. For dessert, various pies are served, particularly pumpkin pie, apple pie and pecan pie.

There are also regional differences as to the "stuffing" (or "dressing") traditionally served with the turkey. Southerners generally make theirs from cornbread, while in other parts of the country white bread is the base, to which oysters, apples, chestnuts, raisins, celery and/or other vegetables, sausage or the turkey's giblets may be added. These eating patterns are very similar in Canada.

Other dishes reflect the region or cultural background of those who have come together for the meal. For example, Italian-Americans often have lasagna on the table and Ashkenazi Jews may serve noodle kugel, a sweet pudding.

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Thanksgiving

An average Thanksgiving dinner has over 2000 calories! It can be a real challenge if you are watching your waistline. The following are some eating tips so that you can still look good and be healthy after the Thanksgiving dinner without having to deprive yourself.

Thanksgiving Turkey Tips

Additional Thanksgiving Tips

Disclaimer: The Thanksgiving Tips / Information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Tips And Treats . com and/or its partners.

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