Happy Thanksgiving 2019! The US holiday of feasts and thanks is here and while most of us Brits won’t get the day off work or a huge turkey dinner today, there is still much that can be learnt about the American tradition.

So while Arnold Schwarzenegger hands out free turkeys and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade gets ready to kick off in New York City, here are 10 facts about Thanksgiving to get you up to speed with the national holiday.

Facts about Thanksgiving

  • There would not have been any turkey served at the first Thanksgiving, they would have had deer or venison, ducks, geese, oysters, lobster, eel and fish.
  • Turkey is a big part of the Thanksgiving feast these days and there also happens to be four places in the US named Turkey; Turkey Creek in Louisiana, Turkey Texas, Turkey North Carolina, and Turkey Creek Arizona.
  • The tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November dates back to 1863 when President Lincoln declared that all Americans should: ‘set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.’



MORE: What really happens when Kim Kardashian, Harrison Ford and other celebs hand out turkeys for Thanksgiving

MORE: Harry and Meghan post Instagram message for Archie’s first Thanksgiving