What Non-Americans Think About These 10 Thanksgiving Traditions


While this Thanksgiving might look very totally different this 12 months than another, it is nonetheless a complete day of consuming, TV watching, and a bit of little bit of reflecting—which sounds fairly customary, proper? Well, whereas we as Americans have grown up celebrating this vacation our complete lives, these exterior of the U.S. have tons of questions on it. From the meals we eat to the vacation’s historical past to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, there’s really loads about Thanksgiving that is odd—and it takes an outsider to note. Read on for some non-Americans’ candid ideas about Thanksgiving traditions, and to see how the vacation was once celebrated, listed below are 11 Retro Thanksgiving Traditions That Have Become Obsolete.

Read the unique article on Best Life.

Smiling black man having Thanksgiving lunch with his family and carving stuffed turkey at dining table, surrounded by wife and children
Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock

It could also be Thanksgiving “dinner,” however for some purpose, most households begin serving up the meal by the center of the afternoon, if not earlier. “Shouldn’t it’s Thanksgiving lunch?” requested Brit Angelica Giangreco Biancheri, reflecting on her first expertise of Thanksgiving within the U.S. for The Tab. “I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that 6 p.m. is an appropriate dinner time in the U.S., but 2 p.m.? No. I refuse.”

And for some entertaining issues to do that Thanksgiving, listed below are 13 Fun Thanksgiving Games Perfect for the Whole Family.

sweet potatoes and marshmallows

If you grew up with it, you realize there’s nothing prefer it: A crisp layer of flippantly browned mini marshmallows that give solution to heaps of gooey candy potatoes, unexpectedly enhancing the sunshine sweetness of the yams beneath. Somehow, it really works. And after you encounter it as a dessert-obsessed child, you be certain it is on the desk each Thanksgiving effectively into maturity.

But in case you’re seeing it for the primary time as an grownup, you’d in all probability react the best way that Englishman Ray Walker did throughout his first American Thanksgiving as a pupil on the University of Florida. “I was handed—what was that?! It was mini-marshmallows…on top of potatoes? No, sweet potatoes? Was it a dessert? No, they said it was a casserole. A sweet-tasting casserole? I’d never heard of such a thing,” he wrote for Odyssey in 2014.

But it did not take lengthy for Walker to turn out to be a convert: “I took a tentative bite and threw off my precautions. It was amazing.”

And for extra on the Thanksgiving sweets that nobody ever enjoys, This Is the Most Hated Thanksgiving Dessert, Survey Says.

thanksgiving spread with turkey in the middle

Those exterior of the U.S. query why we eat all that turkey on Thanksgiving. Hams and even well-seasoned chickens are extra frequent celebratory dishes in different components of the world. Yet within the U.S., we have made a quite ugly chicken our star attraction. “Guys, turkey is terrible. You know this. I do know this,” Australian JR Thorpe wrote of his impression of the star of the Thanksgiving meal for Bustle. “I don’t care if it’s native to America; it’s dry, tasteless, and takes ages to cook properly. You have to cover it in brine, stuff it till its ribs pop out, and slather it in cranberry sauce for the end product to actually be edible.” Ouch!


Because an enormous turkey was not ridiculous sufficient, we Americans discovered a brand new, much more gluttonous solution to have fun Thanksgiving: a duck, stuffed inside a rooster, stuffed inside a turkey, AKA the turducken, for individuals who are unfamiliar.

As you possibly can think about, in case you’ve by no means heard of it earlier than, the mere idea of the turducken comes as a shock. And that is precisely the way it hit Walker. “Emerging from the kitchen was possibly the biggest body of bird I’d ever seen, and somewhere behind it was the lady of the house,” Walker wrote. “She set it on the table in front of me and a closer look revealed it was more than one bird. It was a combination of turkey, duck, AND chicken, called a turducken, or as I called it, a vegetarian nightmare.”

And for extra Turkey Day dishes individuals do not precisely love, even within the States, try This Is the Most Hated Thanksgiving Dish, Survey Says.

Snoopy float at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

There are parades in nations world wide. But what is especially American and specific to Thanksgiving particularly are these large Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons. Every 12 months for many years, Americans have gathered in entrance of their TVs on Thanksgiving morning to look at the procession of large hot-air balloons make their approach down the streets of Manhattan. The mixture of classics and more moderen popular culture characters is certainly entertaining, however type of unusual when you consider it.

“I have no idea how anybody managed to convince an entire city to grind to a halt to watch a bunch of huge balloons wander the streets,” Thorpe wrote. “But it sure makes for hilarious backdrops for ludicrous action films like Tower Heist.”

And for extra on the 2020 parade, try All the Ways Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Will Be Different This Year.

homemade thanksgiving stuffing

When somebody first tells you about this scrumptious factor referred to as “stuffing,” you would possibly assume that you simply’d discover it inside one thing else. Not on Thanksgiving right here in America, the place we serve it on the aspect as a beloved dish all by itself (although we do “stuff” our faces with it).

On the weblog That’s What She Had, a Russian lady named Yulia wrote: “As an outsider, I can title a few things that surprised me at the Thanksgiving table. Like stuffing that, regardless of the title, just isn’t stuffed wherever however is eaten together with different dishes.”

Black Friday crowds worst rated stores

While this 12 months’s gross sales will probably be much more hectic on-line than in particular person, sometimes, Thanksgiving is as a lot of a time to buy as it’s to eat. But when you consider it, Black Friday is without doubt one of the oddest components of the vacation. The door-busting, dignity-shredding seriousness with which Americans method the retail vacation can go away onlookers baffled.

In truth, it may go away them confused concerning the that means of Thanksgiving within the first place. “Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks to the shopkeepers who are going to offer huge discounts the following day,” Ana Maria, from the Dominican Republic, joked to Quartz concerning the meaning of Thanksgiving. “The more thanks are offered, the bigger the discounts!”

And for some shopping-gone-wrong tales, try 13 Black Friday Shopping Horror Stories You Won’t Believe Are Real.

calendar with thanksgiving marked

When former BuzzFeed author Ashly Perez asked her non-American friends on what day Thanksgiving occurred, she acquired some solutions that had been shut, however not fairly proper: An English good friend mentioned it was “the second to last weekend in November” and a Scottish good friend mentioned it was “the last Saturday in November, I think.”

But are you able to blame them for his or her incorrect guesses? Holding a nationwide vacation on a Thursday has all the time been an odd selection, and it is confirmed to be a complicated, hard-to-schedule-around celebration for many years. But, like switching to the metric system, the concept of nudging the vacation right into a weekend simply does not appear more likely to catch on stateside, regardless of how logical it may be.

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American soccer baffles most foreigners regardless of when it is occurring, however on Thanksgiving, the additional focus it will get makes it all of the more bizarre. “As a Brit who knows absolutely NOTHING about American football, I find it hard to understand why watching it is the activity of choice on Thanksgiving Day,” wrote Biancheri. “But to be honest, if I were to eat that colossal amount of food, I would also be so sedated that the only plausible thing to do would be to sit on the couch and watch TV, sparing only the energy to occasionally grunt at the sight of a touchdown.”

And for extra reveals to look at this Thanksgiving, listed below are The Best Thanksgiving TV Episodes of All Time.

autumn flower composition in a pumpkin vase on a table decorated with pumpkins
Olena Antonenko / Shutterstock

Wasn’t Halloween the large pumpkin vacation? It seems, these jack-o’-lanterns had been only a precursor to the principle occasion: Thanksgiving, the place pumpkin pie is the star dessert and pumpkin spice is a key ingredient.

“What is so great about pumpkins?” requested Biancheri. “My theory is that this tradition stems from the need to do something about the leftover pumpkins from Halloween.”

And for extra Turkey Day laughs, listed below are 25 Hilarious Thanksgiving Jokes You’ll Eat Right Up.


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