Fun First Thanksgiving Facts for Kids – Discover the History!

Thanksgiving is a beloved US tradition celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November that has its roots in a harvest feast dating back to 1621. This national holiday originated from a gathering where Pilgrims and Wampanoag Natives came together to celebrate their bountiful harvest and newfound friendship. Lasting for three days, the first Thanksgiving feast featured a delightful spread of venison, duck, oysters, corn, pumpkins, and cranberries. It wasn’t until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, that it became an official day of gratitude and togetherness.

Did you know that Thanksgiving also has some fun and surprising facts associated with it? For instance, the first Thanksgiving football game took place in 1876 between Yale and Princeton, kicking off a beloved American tradition. And have you ever wondered about the connection between Thanksgiving and the song “Jingle Bells”? It turns out that “Jingle Bells” was originally written as a Thanksgiving song before becoming a Christmas favorite.

Another interesting fact is that Thanksgiving has given rise to some unique traditions. One such tradition is the breaking of the wishbone, where two people tug on opposite ends of a turkey’s wishbone in the hopes of getting the larger piece for good luck. Additionally, did you know that the first TV dinner was created using Thanksgiving leftovers? This ingenious idea allowed families to enjoy a convenient meal while making use of the abundant leftovers from their Thanksgiving feast.

So, as you can see, Thanksgiving is not only a time for delicious food and cherished moments with loved ones, but it also has a rich history and captivating facts that will enchant kids of all ages. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover more fascinating details about the first Thanksgiving and the traditions that have made it a beloved holiday.

Pilgrims and Native Americans: Coming Together for a Feast

The Pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower in search of religious freedom and landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where they met the Wampanoag Natives. This encounter marked the start of a remarkable friendship and a celebration that would later become known as the first Thanksgiving feast.

The Mayflower voyage was a perilous journey that lasted for months, but the Pilgrims’ determination to find a new home brought them to the shores of America. Upon their arrival, they faced many challenges, including a harsh winter and a scarcity of food. However, with the help of the Wampanoag Natives, the Pilgrims learned essential survival skills and cultivated a successful harvest.

In gratitude for the bountiful harvest, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Natives came together in 1621 to celebrate their newfound friendship and abundance. This harvest festival, which lasted for three days, included a feast consisting of venison, duck, oysters, corn, pumpkins, and cranberries. It was a time of joy and gratitude, as both groups shared their traditions, stories, and food, forging a bond that would be remembered for generations to come.

The story of the Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together for a feast is a testament to the power of unity and friendship. It reminds us of the importance of gratitude and the value of inclusivity, lessons that still resonate today as we gather with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Traditional Food and Surprising Traditions

The first Thanksgiving feast lasted for three days and included delicious dishes like venison, duck, oysters, corn, pumpkins, and cranberries. These foods were abundant in the autumn season and were enjoyed by the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Natives as they celebrated their bountiful harvest. Today, turkey and pumpkin have become synonymous with Thanksgiving, and many families gather around the table to enjoy a traditional feast.

Aside from the mouthwatering food, Thanksgiving also brings with it a variety of surprising traditions. One popular tradition is breaking the wishbone. After the turkey has been carved, two people each hold one side of the wishbone and make a wish. They then pull the bone apart, and it is believed that the person with the larger piece will have their wish granted.

Another interesting fact about Thanksgiving is the association of the song “Jingle Bells.” Although it is commonly associated with Christmas, “Jingle Bells” was originally written as a Thanksgiving song. It was composed by James Lord Pierpont in 1850 and was originally titled “One Horse Open Sleigh.” However, it gained popularity during the Christmas season and became synonymous with the holiday.

Lastly, did you know that the first TV dinner was created from Thanksgiving leftovers? In 1953, Swanson overestimated the demand for Thanksgiving turkeys and ended up with an excess of 260 tons of frozen birds. To make use of the surplus, they created the first TV dinner, which included turkey, cornbread dressing, peas, and sweet potatoes. This innovative solution revolutionized the way people eat meals in front of the television.

As Thanksgiving approaches, let’s embrace the traditions and flavors that make this holiday so special. Whether you’re enjoying a delicious turkey dinner, breaking the wishbone, or singing along to “Jingle Bells,” Thanksgiving is a time to come together, reflect on our blessings, and create lasting memories with loved ones.

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About Jillian Harness

I'm the founder and editor of How Which Why. I love to write, and always curious about almost anything from science, food, architecture, sports, design, and home decor trends from all corners of the globe. My moto is "No question is too dumb to ask".