How Much Do You Know about Thanksgiving?

By: Sarah Crozer
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The holidays are here! Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and appreciate your life and loved ones. This quiz covers facts, traditions, and history. Test your knowledge now!

When was the first Thanksgiving?

Historians believe that only five women were present because it was the first voyage to the United States, which was incredibly difficult.

Turkey is said to make you ______.

Turkey is said to contain L-Tryptophan, which induces drowsiness. That being said, it is likely that stuffing yourself with a large meal and indulging in extra wine may also be the culprit!

When is Thanksgiving celebrated?

Thanks to President Lincoln and his influences, in 1817 New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday.

You spend Thanksgiving with whom?

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular times to travel and it is a time dedicated to spending time with those you love most. It was George Washington who suggested Americans express gratitude for the happy end to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

Which turkey bone is said to give good luck when broken?

Once the wishbone is dried out, two people take each end, make a wish, and pull on it until it breaks. Whoever gets the longer portion, gets their wish.

Who pardons the turkey in the famous “Turkey Pardon” ceremony?

He receives a turkey and “pardons” it, allowing it to live in peace the rest of its life instead of being killed for food. Three towns in the U.S. take their name from the traditional bird, including Turkey, Texas, Turkey Creek, Louisiana, and Turkey, North Carolina.

This Thanksgiving parade takes place in New York.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held for the first time in 1924. The parade includes marching bands, floats, giant balloons and singing performances. It was originally thrown by Gimbel's department stores until they went out of business.

Which president declared Thanksgiving a national day?

Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863 and it has been acknowledged nationwide ever since.

What traditional Thanksgiving sauce has medicinal purposes?

The Native Americans as well as some modern doctors will often use cranberries for medicine using it as a blood purifier, natural laxative, fever relief and stomach ailments.

Who partook in the original Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims?

The Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1621 and nearly starved. Thankfully, they were taught to farm by locals, and by the time of the first harvest they all gathered to take part in a large feast and give thanks.

What percentage of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the celebrations and is ranked as America's second most popular holiday, after Christmas.

The Pilgrims originally intended to colonize what state?

The Pilgrims actually aimed to set up a colony in Virginia, where they would have religious freedom, but their ship went off course. It took a total of 66 days for the Mayflower to finally reach Cape Cod Harbor in Massachusetts. The Pilgrims spent most of the first brutal winter on the ship.

This is the main iconic food featured on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is also known as Turkey Day. Surprisingly enough, turkey wasn't known to be served at the first Thanksgiving: the Native Americans arrived with five deer to be eaten during the feast.

Traditionally, the Pilgrims were known to eat what on Thanksgiving?

The only thing they were known to eat in similarity was corn! They most likely did not eat turkey, but instead probably ate cod, bass, and other types of fowl!

How long did the first Thanksgiving last?

After the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a large feast and invited a group of the colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief.

The use of cranberries took off after the introduction of what?

In 1622, the British brought honeybees to North America giving the colonists a form of sweetener through honey that made the use of cranberries take off.

Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York are the major states to grow what?

Autumn is pumpkin season and these states produced about 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkin annually.

What was the name of the Native American who helped the Pilgrims?

The Pilgrims were burdened with malnutrition and illness. Squanto taught them a multitude of tricks including maple extraction and poisonous plant avoidance.

This is a common dessert used to celebrate Thanksgiving.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long!

Although Lincoln declared it, who was behind the recognition of the holiday nationally?

Although Lincoln is known to be the one to declare the holiday, it would probably not be recognized to this day if not for the persistence of an influential writer, Sarah Hale.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving shows record sales of what?

Everyone stocks up on liquor and food before the holiday so they can spend quality time at home with their family and loved ones.

The day after Thanksgiving is known as _____.

Black Friday is known to be the biggest shopping day of the year, featuring sales on every item imaginable.

Instead of balloons, the original Macy's parade featured ______.

The original parade included animals from Central Park Zoo, however, this soon switched over due to different concerns.

Where did the Pilgrims come from?

A group of religious separatists and ambitious individuals left England for the New World in 1620.

The Continental Congress proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving in what year?

It was suggested that Americans ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife”.

The Pilgrims were not credited for the holiday until about _____.

In 1900, there was an increased interest in the 1621 harvest celebration and the Pilgrims tied to the holiday were used to teach children about early American exploration.

Many Americans watch this sport on Thanksgiving traditionally.

The Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving day in 1934 and since then, the Lions play every Thanksgiving.

What is the common Thanksgiving menu based on?

New England fall harvests consisting of turkey, cranberries, pumpkin, and root vegetables are the inspiration behind a typical Thanksgiving feast.

The first Pilgrims that came to the US were passengers of what ship?

In 1620, the Pilgrims set sail from England with two ships – the Speedwell and the Mayflower, however; the Speedwell had to turn back, making the Mayflower the primary vessel, taking passengers from both boats to the New World.

Which is a popular state for turkey production?

North Carolina, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, Virginia, and Indiana produce almost 2/3 of the turkeys used for Thanksgiving dinners.

Thanksgiving is about Pilgrims coming together with Native Americans, but was also relative to what?

In 1637, members of Pequot Tribe gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival. In the the early morning, tribe members were surrounded by mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot to death while women and children who huddled inside were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared "A Day Of Thanksgiving" because of the “victory”.

Where did the Mayflower anchor?

The date of Thanksgiving was set by Abraham Lincoln to celebrate this event and is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

The Native Americans introduced this food to the Pilgrims.

Native Americans introduced corn along with other mainstay foods, taught them which crops to plant, and were completely essential to their survival.

The Native Americans used this Thanksgiving food for many things in daily life.

The Wampanoag’s introduced cranberries to the Pilgrims. The tribe members used the berries for everything from cooking and dyes for fabric to natural medicine!

Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving holiday the same day he ordered troops to what?

Abraham Lincoln declared the holiday during the Civil War, where there were many killings and the days of Thanksgiving feasts were often held following the “successful” events.

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