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Thanksgiving Traditions (II)
Writer: Sara Zeglin     Origin: National Geographic News    Time: 2009-11-16     Hit: 1164     【Font:Small Big

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Try breaking the turkey wishbone with a relative this year.

Photography by Creates Images/Jupiter Images

The Wishbone

Some families include breaking the turkeys wishbone as part of their celebration. The wishbone is found attached to the breast meat in the turkeys chest. After the meat has been removed and the wishbone has had a chance to become dry and brittle, two people each take one end of the bone, make a wish, and pull. Whoever ends up with the larger part of the bone gets their wish!

The Turkey Pardon

Each year at Thanksgiving, the President of the United States receives a gift of a live turkey (along with an alternate in case something happens to the official turkey). At a White House ceremony, the president traditionally pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey and the alternate turkeys, allowing them to live out the rest of their lives on a farm.

Helping Others

Many generous folks use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to help the less fortunate. Some people volunteer to serve food at homeless shelters on Thanksgiving Day and others donate to shelters or participate in canned food drives.

TV

Television also plays a part in Thanksgiving celebrations. Many families watch the New York City Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade includes marching bands, floats, songs and performances from Broadway musicals, and giant helium-filled balloons! People may also enjoy televised football games.

After the Meal

After the feast families often do additional activities. Some like to take walks after eating such a large meal. Some people take naps. Others sit down together to play board or card games together.

Fast Facts

  • The largest pumpkin pie ever made weighed 2,020 pounds (916.25 kilograms).
  • A ripe cranberry will bounce.
  • All turkeys and chickens have wishbones.
  • Canadians celebrate their own Thanksgiving every October.
  • Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863.
  • The first Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in 1924.

Erin Whitmer contributed to this story.

 
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