Gobble Up the History: The Turkeys’ Association with Thanksgiving

Happy Harvest Collection by Red Glitter

Turkey has been associated with Thanksgiving in the United States for centuries. The history behind this association is multifaceted and dates back to the earliest days of the Thanksgiving holiday.

One of the most commonly cited reasons for the association between turkey and Thanksgiving is rooted in the history of the holiday itself. Thanksgiving is a celebration that originated in the early 17th century, when English settlers arrived in what is now the United States and held a feast to give thanks for a successful harvest. It is said that during this feast, turkey was served as the main course, and this tradition continued in subsequent years.

Another reason that turkey is associated with Thanksgiving has to do with the popularity of the bird in the United States during the 19th century. Turkeys were plentiful and relatively inexpensive, making them an accessible choice for families celebrating Thanksgiving. Additionally, turkeys were large enough to feed a large group of people, which made them a practical choice for the big family gatherings that often occur on Thanksgiving.

Over time, the association between turkey and Thanksgiving became firmly established in American culture. It became common for families to serve turkey as the main course of their Thanksgiving meal, and many other Thanksgiving traditions also developed, such as pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.

In the early 20th century, the association between turkey and Thanksgiving was further solidified by the efforts of the poultry industry. Turkey producers began promoting the bird as the ideal choice for Thanksgiving, and even went so far as to sponsor Thanksgiving parades and other events. This marketing effort was so successful that today, turkey is almost synonymous with Thanksgiving in the United States.

Beyond its historical roots and cultural significance, there are also practical reasons why turkey is an ideal choice for Thanksgiving. Turkey is a versatile meat that can be prepared in a variety of ways, from roasted to deep-fried to smoked. It is also a lean protein that is relatively low in fat and calories, which makes it a healthier choice than some other meats.

In conclusion, the association between turkey and Thanksgiving in the United States is rooted in the history of the holiday itself, as well as in the practicalities of feeding large groups of people. Over time, this association has become firmly established in American culture, and turkey has become an integral part of the Thanksgiving celebration.

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Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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