Thanksgiving is an annual holiday that brings families and traditions together.  As we celebrate this gathering, let’s also explore some of the more obscure and lesser-known facts about one of America’s favorite holidays.

Why Turkeys Are Called Turkeys

In the 16th century, when North American turkeys were first introduced en-masse in Europe, there was another bird that was popularly imported throughout Europe and England, called guinea fowl.  The guinea fowl was imported from Madagascar via the Ottoman Empire.  The merchants who did this were known as “turkey merchants”.  The guinea fowl themselves were eventually popularly referred to as “turkey fowl”, similar to how other product imported through the Ottoman Empire acquired their names such as “turkey corn”, “turkey wheat”, etc.  The North American turkey was thought by many to be a species of the type of guinea fowl that was imported via the Ottoman Empire and thus, began also being called “turkey fowl” in English, with this eventually shorted to just “turkey”.

Did You Know?

  • 91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving.
  • About 280 million turkeys are sold annually for Thanksgiving, which is about 7 billion pounds of turkey and about $3 billion dollars in sales.
  • About 20% of all cranberries that are consumed in the U.S. per year are eaten on Thanksgiving.

What Was Served At The Very First Thanksgiving

The only things that are known to have been served on the first Thanksgiving were deer, various types of fowl, flint corn, cod, bass, and other types of fish.

For a complete list of interesting facts about Thanksgiving, please visit the link below: