Today is Thanksgiving in the USA and a great time to share these Thanksgiving Facts & Statistics! For those who don’t know, Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in the United States, Canada, Brazil and a few others. Although Canada celebrates it on the second Monday of October while the USA waits until the third Thursday of November. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan.
But we’re not here to talk about history or even the injustices related to Thanksgiving. That’s a discussion for another time! Enjoy these fun facts and statistics. Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday, it’s a great reminder to sit down and give thanks for everything we have that we take for granted.
1. Shut Up and Take My Money
Thanksgiving is associated with various sales including Black Friday, Cyber Monday plus the expenses of hosting family meals. Statistics show that in 2019, the average amount spent per person during the five day period around Thanksgiving was $313+.
2. Calories Galore
An average American male will need to spend 10 hours and 33 minutes on the treadmill to burn off the average Thanksgiving meal. Even crazier is the fact that the average person will consume 4,500 calories during one Thanksgiving meal! The recommended daily amount for the average person is 2,000 per day!
3. Fire Hazard – Thanksgiving Facts & Statistics
Preparing a turkey is a feat… and not everyone is a culinary genius. There is an estimated $19 million in property loss every year that is caused by residential building fires. Clearly, it’s not just a cliche on TV to see a Thanksgiving meal go up in flames!
4. Turkeys Have Changed
Turkeys are the classic meal at Thanksgiving, but they weren’t there for the first ever event in 1621. In the hundreds of years as the tradition progressed, turkeys have become cheaper and also fatter. This is because they are bred a certain way plus they are basically ‘mass-produced’ to accommodate demand so they are cheap to buy. The ethics and health issues associated with this is also a discussion for another time.
5. Mass Travel – Thanksgiving Facts & Statistics
Similarly to Golden Week in China, Thanksgiving sees a record number of Americans travel for the holiday. A recent survey by TripAdvisor indicates that 70% of Americans traveled for Thanksgiving! While most travel by car, around 11% fly to their destination. Here is a chart showing the numbers over the years including 2020 predictions.
6. Basic AF
No, I am not calling 36% of the US population basic. But as a proud basic b***h myself and hopefully a future US citizen, I am quite proud of these statistics… I am talking about the obsession with pumpkin spice, of course. According to very important science, 36% of people eat pumpkin pie for thanksgiving! The more popular alternatives include pecan, apple, sweet potato and chocolate.
7. A Woman Convinced a Man to Make Thanksgiving Happen
Sarah Josepha Hale was an American writer, activist, and an influential editor. She was the author of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Hale famously campaigned for the creation of the American holiday known as Thanksgiving, and for the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument.
8. Seafood for Thanksgiving
Today a classic Thanksgiving menu includes turkey, mashed potato, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy and corn (come at me corn haters.) However originally, people ate wild goose or duck along with wild turkey as well as deer, flint corn, fish, shellfish and eels. Of course today there are various alternatives and many meatless options for Thanksgiving if animal products don’t float your boat.
9. Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
Over 50 million people watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade every year. Millions of people attend in person and it is has been an incredibly popular event. It is still happening this year but it will be a little different. Check out these fun statistics in the info graphic borrowed from here.
10. Forks Are a New Trend
The first Thanksgiving was eaten with spoons and knives — but no forks! That’s because forks weren’t even introduced to the Pilgrims until 10 years later and weren’t a popular utensil until the 18th century. Learn about the history of the fork here.
Summary: Thanksgiving Facts & Statistics
I hope these Thanksgiving Facts & Statistics brighten your day. Whether you are staying home, enjoying a socially-distant family meal or don’t celebrate the holiday at all, it is a good idea to take a moment to think about what you are thankful for in life. Have a wonderful, safe day and consider following The Travel Bug Bite for more great content! Our readers are one of many things that we are thankful for!