In the United States, aside from the Thanksgiving meal, we have come to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with parades, football, and the start of the Christmas shopping season.
Thanksgiving Day Parades
Thanksgiving Day Parades, though not specifically documented, probably got their start when President Lincoln proclaimed an official day of Thanksgiving. Given the Union achievements of the summer of 1863, it would have been logical that any official event declared by the President would have been accompanied by a show of military strength and discipline such as a full-dress parade. Elaborate floats, musical shows and entertainment celebrities have replaced the parades of armed and uniformed men marching in cadence or to a military band, but the desired effect, to lift the spirits of the spectators, remains the goal.
Thanksgiving to Christmas
The day after Thanksgiving, often an additional day off has become “Black Friday” the day when the Christmas shopping frenzy first starts. Like football, this has become a cultural symbol of the holiday and the season.
Thanksgiving Football Games
The advent of Thanksgiving Day football is purely a twentieth century invention. For years, the principal game was a tradition between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. Yet, as this modern day ritual became more and more popular, more games were added with more teams.
Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas
Tradition doesn”t mean that every Thanksgiving has to be the same as the last. Enlighten and excite everyone around you by trying something different this year.