We’re Grateful For These Interesting Thanksgiving Traditions Around The Country
Happy Thanksgiving, turkey fam! It’s time to break out the stuffing and stretchy pants for the biggest dinner of the year. But not everyone celebrates the harvest season in quite the same way. There are some creative takes on the holiday that make Turkey Day special around the country.
New York and New Jersey: Pasta
East Coasters with Italian backgrounds frequently create pasta dishes for a Thanksgiving feast — sometimes subbing it in for turkey, sometimes eating it in addition to the big bird. Bonus points if there are turkey meatballs involved, too.
Regardless of whether you’re a big fan of wild rice hot dish (shoutout to the Minnesotans) or more into green bean casserole (hello, veggies in cream sauce), sheet pan side dishes fill up the table in the Midwest.
South: Pecan Pie
Forget apple and pumpkin — pecan pie is the star in the dessert lineup in the South. Think of this super sweet, nutty pie like your grandma’s special: everyone has their preferred recipe, but hers is totally the best.
While everyone makes their own Thanksgiving wishes and offers thanks in different ways, these are a few of our favorites that people around the country do at their tables.
Many people cover their Thanksgiving tables with beautiful tablecloths, but we like the tradition of using a paper one. Why? Well, it not only makes for the easiest cleanup ever, but also allows guests to add their own thanksgiving wishes to the tablecloth using pens left at each place setting.
After the turkey is all carved, you have to save the wishbone. It’s the V-shaped bone that plays perfectly into a classic game where two people each grab a side of the bone. They tug on it and whoever gets the bigger half wins something, like a wish or a prize (maybe the first slice of pie). We like the idea of making wishes for what there will be to feel grateful for in the next year.
Once everyone has a hearty helping of the good stuff on their plates, the toasts begin. But instead of making one big toast at the beginning of the meal, make sure everyone gets a chance to say a few words about what they’re thankful for as the dinner progresses. And no one is allowed to go for seconds until everyone has said their thanks.
Around The World
In the United Kingdom, they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving per se. But there is a harvest festival celebrated by some thankful folks. It takes place around the autumn equinox (dating back to pagan times) and offers the chance to give back to your community — just like our volunteer opportunities here in the States.
Canadian Thanksgiving takes place the month before ours (many people argue Canadians started celebrating it before Americans) and is celebrated in similar ways. For example, you’ll still find pumpkin pie on the table.
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