“Happy Thanksgiving” That`s the first thing my friend says to me when I wake up.
When my friends invited me to spend Thanksgiving with them, I jumped at the opportunity. It`s one of the major holidays in the USA, a day celebrated with family and friends. I`ve always been fascinated by it because in Belgium we don`t have a day like it. (If you`re interested in learning more about the history of Thanksgiving, read more here)
The preparations to this holiday start before hand with buying the famous turkey and all the other ingredients needed to make a delicious menu.
This holiday everyone or at least the cook get up real early to prepare a festive lunch or dinner. I heard it depends from state to state when you start eating. Some start around noon, others late afternoon. That`s what we did.
Family and friends are invited and having a house filled with lots of people only adds to this day of thanks. Because we were also with a group of 15 people, we needed a big turkey… 20 pounds, trust me it needs a few hours in the oven!
What else is on a traditional menu besides turkey?
*green beans, Brussels sprouts or carrots
Again the menu is different from where in the States you are and also depends who`s cooking. Everyone adds their personal touch. On our menu ham, eggplant,… were also served.
Other traditions during the day are watching the Macy`s Thanksgiving Parade in New York. Even though I was at Long Island (only an hour from the city) I followed up on the advice of the locals to watch the parade on television, because it gets really crowded. People even sleep the night before for a good spot. It started already at 9 am in the morning and I watched it together with about 50 million others!
Watching a sports game, like football is another favorite activity or just talking and playing games.
It`s a wonderful time to sit together with family and friends and be thankful. I for one was grateful for having such good friends who let me experience this lovely time with them!
Thanksgiving is also the start sign of the Holiday Season and there is another American phenomenon that starts early the next morning: Black Friday.
This is a big sale, all shops offer discounts on their products and people are in line from 4 am in the morning. This year they even started on Thanksgiving Day late in the evening. Stores opened their door at 10 pm for Black Friday sales. Because I was there, I wanted to experience it myself. I think I`ve never seen so many people together other than a rock concert maybe. Parking lots filled with cars, shuttle services driving back and forth. People everywhere… not really my thing. But glad to have had the chance to see what all the commotion is all about.