Roughly 51 million turkeys will be consumed tomorrow. Along with the cooler weather and finals, Thanksgiving has arrived, the only day in America where it is socially acceptable to eat yourself into a deep sleep.
The “First Thanksgiving” occurred in November 1621. It was a celebration of the Pilgrims’ first successful harvest and was shared between the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony and the native Wampanoag people. It lasted for three days.
The food that was consumed most likely included ducks, geese or swans, deer, onions, beans, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots, peas or corn in the form of porridge. Most of the meal was shellfish. Today 88 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving. According to an anonymous poll of 40 students, roughly 85 percent of New College students who participate in Thanksgiving also eat turkey that day.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared a national Thanksgiving holiday and established a uniform date for a celebration that had been held in different colonies and states for almost two centuries.
The total U.S. spending on Thanksgiving dinner food is $2.4 million, while the average household spends $54.18 on Thanksgiving dinner. The cost of turkey typically falls during autumn months. In addition to this, turkey prices will be 13 percent cheaper this year than they were last year. This follows the drop in price for corn and soybeans, which made turkeys cheaper to raise this year.
In the spirit of giving, the Turkey Bowl raised roughly $550 for charity this year. Two bins of food were collected at the game and given to All Faiths Food Bank.
In the spirit of spending, fewer people are expected to shop during Thanksgiving weekend this year. Instead it is projected that consumers will wait for better deals later in the season. A survey by National Retail Federation found that 140.1 million consumers say they will or may shop over the weekend, down from 140.3 million last year. However these numbers do not include Cyber Monday, which is growing in popularity.
“It’s too small to do Black Friday shopping where I live,” first-year Christiana DeWind said. “I think it has its benefits to help small stores, but it also seems like the opposite of Thanksgiving.”
39 million families are expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year. About 78 percent of New College students will also be traveling over the upcoming break. Luckily lower gas prices are expected to make traveling more affordable this year.
Information from this article was gathered from USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Census Bureau, MSN, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.history.com, www.fortune.com, www.heraldtribune.com, and www.suncoastpartnership.org