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11 Things You Need To Know About Thanksgiving!

27.11.14

1. It's basically Harvest Festival SUPER SIZED! Remember those days in primary school, where you raided your mums cupboard for old tins of baked beans and corned beef - well it’s kinda like that but a MUCH bigger deal!

2. The first Thanksgiving meal happened back in 1621 when a bunch of Pilgrims and Indians got together for a mega 3 day feast to celebrate a successful harvest. Those early Pilgrims weren’t having much luck in the farming department, in fact half died that first winter, so they were pretty happy when their nice Indian neighbours stepped in and taught them how to fish, grow corn and farm the land. Yay for teamwork!

3. Apparently there was a turkey present at this first feast. Unfortunately for the turkey it wasn’t a guest - it was the main course! Gobble, gobble, gone!

4. When your stomach’s been rumbling for months on end and you suddenly get a shed load of food, you’re gonna be pretty thankful. Still they’ve kept the thanks thing going ever since, which is a pretty cool and humbling thing to do! Britain - take note!

5. Today those lucky Americans get a four day weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s basically Christmas come early. So yep, they get a massive feast in November for Thanksgiving AND do it all again in December for Christmas. Greedy bunch! We’re clearly just jealous! Humph!

6. Thanksgiving is a proper get together. It’s definitely a case of ‘the more, the merrier’, unlike Christmas which is more of a family affair. You even invite that weird neighbour in the hope that he’ll turn out to be nice, like that old man with the snow shovel from Home Alone!

7. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD! Turkey is ESSENTIAL, along with some cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy aaaand…some sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, dumplings, noodles (WTF!?), corn on the cob, deviled eggs, green beans, green bean casserole, sauerkraut, peas, carrots, bread rolls, cornbread, biscuits, rutabagas, turnips, brussel sprouts oh and a salad…(eh?)! But wait, we haven’t quite finished…for desert you can choose from pumpkin pie, apple pie, mincemeat pie, sweet potato pie, chocolate cream pie, pecan pie. Americans clearly love a good pie. But then who doesn’t!? Mmmm piiiiie!

8. Turkeys have little to be thankful for on this day, apart from a lucky few who get ‘pardoned’ by the President. Yep you heard it right! Obama himself will pick his favourite Turkeys to save from the oven. We imagine an X Factor style line-up of hopefuls. “You look like a turkey, you sound like a turkey, you’re a damn fine turkey…you’re pardoned!” The winning turkeys are whisked away to either Disneyland Resort in California or the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they open and lead the Thanksgiving Day Parade! Only in America!

9. So after a ‘bite to eat’ it’s time to loosen those pants, sit in front of the telly and watch football – the American kind, not ‘soccer’! They have TWELVE straight hours of live games with kick-off at 12.30pm. Luckily Americans love a good commercial, so the constant stream of ad breaks gives them ample time to eat all the pies! Phew!

10. Oh and Macy’s put on an insane Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. With more than 8,000 participants on HUGE floats with MASSIVE balloons – it’s all happening on the streets of Manhattan. Apparently 50 million people tune in to watch it, so it’s kind of a big deal!

11. And finally there’s Black Friday. So after recovering from your food coma, it’s time to hit the shops. We’re not talking a Boxing Day sale at Next – we’re talking UTTER CARNAGE! War paint at the ready, game face on - Americans will tackle their way through crowds to get a discount on a TV they didn’t even know they wanted! Being nice and thankful was soooo yesterday!

Anyway Happy Thanksgiving! If you do the Camp America programme next summer we guarantee you’ll have lots to be thankful for!
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