Americans enjoy a new year of their favorite traditions

in Opinion by
The aroma of warm food in cold weather and the gathering of family and friends for new memories and yearly traditions arrive as a new season emerges with one of North America’s holidays: Thanksgiving. Every year, families gather around the table to eat home-cooked meals and express what they are thankful for. (Photo/Kraken Images, Unsplash)

Expressing gratefulness 

Thanksgiving, as in the name itself, is the holiday of giving thanks to family, friends, experiences and everything worth expressing gratitude for. Traditionally, people give thanks before dinner is served to begin the meal with appreciation. People use the day to reminisce about experiences and memories they will always remember.

The feast

The feast is arguably the most memorable part of the holiday, as it began the holiday we celebrate today and dates back to 1621. On the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag shared a feast to celebrate the pilgrim’s first harvest. Every year, Americans continue this tradition by inviting close friends and family to eat a dinner of traditional dishes. The most known dinner plates include the roast turkey or flavorful ham, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, apple pie, warm cider and pumpkin pie.

The Macy’s Day Parade

Thanksgiving is a holiday of many traditions, one of the oldest being the Macy’s Day Parade. The parade, which began in 1924, will have its 95th anniversary this year. Thousands of people line the streets of Manhattan to watch its ever-iconic floats of Disney characters, cartoons, towering balloons and most famously, Santa who begins the Christmas season for many Americans. Millions of families tune into NBC and Telemundo to watch the parade as a beloved tradition.

Thanksgiving day football

Gathering around the TV with family and friends after dinner to watch football is a Thanksgiving staple for many. The NFL hosts an annual game, a tradition going back to 1934. The first game began with the Detroit Lions, who wanted to attract attention for their team. The tradition has continued and it is now a staple of many families across America  to watch the Lions and the Dallas Cowboys battle it out on Thanksgiving day.

Black Friday

Not necessarily on Thanksgiving, but still a widely associated tradition, is the day of sales: Black Friday. Black Friday is known for its chaos, early-morning lines and the purpose of it all: massive discounts. People shop online or storm the stores in search of items. The tradition has a rather dark beginning as it was first used to describe a significant stock market crash in 1869, heavily affecting the U.S. economy. Retailers, who have spent years trying to turn the connotation around, have succeeded as the day now takes a whole new meaning.

The Turkey trot

With all the food Thanksgiving brings, a Turkey trot is a great way to burn the calories dinner brings. Many Americans agree to marathons and 5k runs, making them American trends on the holiday. Thanksgiving is, in fact, the most popular day to run a race in the U.S. The trot started in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1896 and, since that year, races have been held across America for everyone willing to participate and begin their Thanksgiving morning with a rush.

The Wishbone

Every year families set aside a wishbone after they carve the turkey. Once the meal is finished, two people make a wish and crack the wishbone so that they can enjoy good luck for the rest of the year and wish that may come true. This tradition dates back to ancient Italy thousands of years ago to end up at American dinner tables.

Shreya is an incoming sophomore here at American Heritage. Apart from Newspaper, she participates in clubs and extracurriculars such as Key Club, Model UN, YIS, HOSA, PBS and AASA. She loves writing, listening to music, watching TV shows and editing videos. She has been dancing for almost all her life and has a love for business and computer science. She plans on channeling these interests into her future career and exploring them further throughout high school. When she am not reading or rewatching Netflix shows, she is riding her bike or swimming in the pool.