What is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, Canada and several other countries. The North-American tradition of Thanksgiving is based on giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest of that year.

Thanksgiving dinner

When is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving takes place every fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. So in 2024, Thanksgiving takes place on Thursday, November 28 in the United States, and Monday, October 14 in Canada.

Celebrating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving traditionally marks the start of the holiday season, which ends with New Year’s Day. Thanksgiving is a holiday of giving thanks and being grateful for what we have. It is also a time to come together with our families and take part in a number of traditional celebrations. We will tell you some of the traditions most often associated with Thanksgiving.

The Turkey

Thanksgiving is not complete without Thanksgiving dinner! And for many people, Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey as the centerpiece.

There are a myriad of different recipes for this, but common ways to serve the turkey with are stuffing, mashed or sweet potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables and pumpkin pie. As a tradition, Thanksgiving dinner is cooked with foods native to the New World.

Roasted turkey

Cracking the wishbone

The wishbone is a V-shaped bone from the turkey, also known as the furcula, which is traditionally taken from the carcass of the turkey cooked for Thanksgiving dinner and dried out.

What happens next? Two people would make a secret wish, and hold on to one end of the bone each. Then they have to crack the wishbone using all their strength. The person that ends up with the bigger piece is crowned winner and will have their secret wish granted.

Thanksgiving Day Football

Playing and watching American Football is a tradition in the United States that is nearly as old as the sport and the holiday themselves. The first Thanksgiving Day football game was played in 1869 in Philadelphia.

Pretty much all levels of football, ranging from amateur and high school football to the NFL play games on Thanksgiving Day or the weekend after. In Canada, the CFL has the same tradition on Canadian Thanksgiving Day.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is the largest parade in the world. It started in 1924 and has been televised nationally since 1953. It runs for 3 hours each Thanksgiving from 9 a.m. to 12 noon EST.

The parade is famous for floats and large and very detailed balloons. In 2020, the parade will be televised, but much fewer people will be allowed to view the parade live, due to the global pandemic. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade always ends at Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square. The last float is traditionally a Christmas float, which signals the start of the Christmas season.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Have you started thinking about celebrating Christmas yet? With our Secret Santa organizer, you no longer have to come together to draw names! You also have the option to enter and view wish lists, send each other gifts by mail and unwrap the gifts via video call.

Happy Thanksgiving!