The beginning of November marks the end of Halloween and the advent of the Winter Holiday Season, as businesses across the country begin to take down their spooky decorations to make room for the next holiday. But while the British are setting up their winter decorations, their neighbours across the pond are busy suppressing their Christmas urges in order to make room for the seminal November holiday - Thanksgiving.
In an attempt to raise American cultural awareness abroad, here’s the Salvator's definitive guide of what to expect during one of America’s most beloved holidays.
1. The Meal
The centerpiece of the holiday, the Thanksgiving feast is really what brings families from distant parts of the country together on Thanksgiving Thursday. The meal itself always is complete with notable classics, including mashed potatoes, cranberries, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and of course - the iconic basket of mozzarella sticks.
2. The Parade
Americans celebrate Thanksgiving to remember the brief but impactful moment when natives and settlers put aside their bloodshed and differences in order to enjoy a meal between their cultures. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade best symbolizes this harmony, as Mariah Carey singing “All I Want for Christmas” beneath the giant, looming SpongeBob SquarePants float reminds us all of the importance of cooperation and peace among one another.
3. The Turkey Pardoning
Every year hundreds flock to the White House lawn and watch as one lucky turkey receives a pardon from the President of the United States himself. To compensate, another turkey is shot in cold blood in front of his family.
4. The Annual Freaky Friday Movie Marathon
While this tradition principally happens in the Northeastern part of the country, it isn’t uncommon to find a family spending their afternoon watching both the 1976 and 2003 versions of the Freaky Friday films. This marathon is usually followed by a length debate regarding who played the better teenage daughter in the films, Jodie Foster or Lindsay Lohan.
5. The Exchanging of Gift Boots
This Thanksgiving tradition originates from the predominant Dutch settlers that arrived in America in the 17th century, who were known for befriending the local native tribes. Americans today recreate their hospitality by handing family members their very own “gift boot,” usually filled with confetti. Fun fact: it is believed that the wordß Thanksgiving stems from the Dutch word Dankbaarbootgeven (thankful boot giving), with the “boot” portion having been left out after the holiday had assimilated across the United States. The more you know.
6. The Cthulhu Prayer Circle
Finally, Thanksgiving culminates in the evening in the living room, as families take their Necronomicons off the shelf and gather round to call upon Cthulhu, the High Priest of the Great Old Ones. Through chanting they hope to awaken the Sleeper of R’lyeh, who will rain down a thousand years of darkness over the earth, or at least grant that the home team makes it to the Playoffs.