THANKSGIVING | Plant City Observer



Group of friends or family members giving thanks to God at the festive turkey dinner table together. Thanksgiving celebration traditional dinner concept

Holidays are as much about honoring traditions as they are about spending time with loved ones.

Thanksgiving is a time to take a well-deserved break and recharge in preparation for the last, busiest month of the year. As Plant City residents prepare to reunite with friends and family, share a meal, and enjoy the day, it’s important to look back at the history behind the holidays and the traditions we recognize as indelible parts of the celebration.

While many historians trace the origins of Thanksgiving to the harvest celebrations of early settlers in New England in the early 1600s, it did not become a holiday until October 3, 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national Thanksgiving Day. President Franklin Roosevelt, recognizing that in some years November has five Thursdays, changed the date to the fourth Thursday of the month.


To be honest, I light up the parade as much to watch the shivering participants trying to stay warm as I do for the balloons, floats, marching bands and performers. It increases my gratitude to live in sunny Florida. Macy’s held its first Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924 (it was aptly named Macy’s Christmas Parade), winding through New York City streets and ending at Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street and Broadway . Although it takes place on Thanksgiving Day, it doesn’t celebrate the holiday so much as it ushers in the next one…the start of the holiday shopping season. Still, the parade is a spectacle and a great way to get into the holiday spirit. It starts live from New York at 8:45 a.m. and can be watched on NBC or streamed on Peacock.


For many Americans, the Thanksgiving meal consists of roast turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. What did our Pilgrim ancestors eat at the first feast? Historical references state that the meal included wild turkey and game, both abundant in the region, as well as fall vegetables such as onions, beans and carrots. Corn could also have been served, but not as a savory casserole. It would have been removed from the cob and made into cornmeal, which was then boiled and pounded into a thick corn porridge or porridge. Yum. Whatever dishes are on your table, keep in mind that Thanksgiving is also one of the best days for cooking fires.

Fun fact: In 1784, Ben Franklin suggested that the wild turkey would be a more appropriate national symbol than the bald eagle (luckily other lawmakers didn’t gobble up the idea).


A holiday tradition that only happens if turkey, duck or chicken are on your table. Two family members, usually children, fight over the furcula, or “triangle”, each battling to break the bone and get the bigger piece.

The price? Good luck and wish granted. The origins of this holiday tradition date back to around 700 BCE, when the Etruscans believed that birds were oracles and could predict the future. When a chicken was slaughtered, they left the furcula to dry in the sun in hopes of gaining some of its divinatory powers. The villagers caressed it gently while making a wish, hence the name wishbone. Don’t we all want to have a wish granted?


Thanksgiving Day and “food coma” go hand in hand. Is our need to sleep on the couch after the meal due to the tryptophan in the turkey, the fact that we consumed a few days worth of calories in one sitting, the large amount of alcohol consumed or the fatigue of all shopping, cooking and cleaning up before the holidays? Does it matter? Take that nap and don’t feel bad at all.


Football and Thanksgiving Day seem to go together like milk and cookies. Whether you’re playing a friendly ball game in your backyard with friends and family or prefer to be a wheelchair quarterback watching a game on TV, football and Thanksgiving have been fused together since 1920, when the NFL began. playing games while on vacation. Catch the following games this year on Thanksgiving Day: Bills vs. Lions at 12:30 p.m., Giants vs. Cowboys at 4:30 p.m., and Patriots vs. Vikings at 8:20 p.m. to 19h

Another football event held on Thanksgiving Day is the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Football fans can get their fix by watching: Switzerland v Cameroon at 5:00 a.m., Uruguay v South Korea at 8:00 a.m., Portugal v Ghana at 11:00 a.m. and Brazil v Serbia at 2:00 p.m.


What better way to start a day of eating than by sweating it out at a local Turkey Trot? I admit, I just signed up for one myself, more to reduce the guilt I’ll feel eating so much food in one meal than to win a medal. Turkey scooters are not a new phenomenon. The inaugural trot took place 125 years ago in Buffalo, New York, when a local YMCA held an 8k cross-country race on Thanksgiving Day. Six runners participated in the event but only four of them crossed the finish line. Luckily, you don’t have to be in an official race to get out there for some exercise.


With more stores opening earlier than ever and the growing popularity of e-commerce, Black Friday has bled into Thanksgiving Day, but where did the name retail shopping day come from? One theory posits that in the 1950s, Philadelphia City Police coined the term to describe the chaos that ensued when hordes of shoppers and tourists flooded the city on a Thanksgiving for the Army-Navy football game. which was held over the weekend, creating a big headache for police who have had to deal with an increase in shoplifting and crime. The name is apt because even today the day can bring out the worst in society as frantic shoppers jostle and jostle to snag a new TV for a few bucks less than the normal price. The holiday also spawned other retail-related events, such as Small Business Saturday/Sunday and Cyber ​​Monday. Good shopping.

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