Can you guess the iconic Thanksgiving food that was actually missing from the very first feast? Impress your littlest guests with these Thanksgiving trivia questions and answers.

By Christin Perry
August 27, 2020
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The best meal of the year is officially around the corner. That's right, it's almost Thanksgiving, and if you're hosting, it's time to start planning!

While we can't exactly lend a hand with the cranberry sauce or creamed corn, we can offer up some fun conversation starters for the dinner table. We compiled a few of our favorite Thanksgiving trivia facts that'll impress crowds of all ages and make you look like a holiday genius in front of your kids.

What was missing from the first Thanksgiving feast?

Answer: Turkey

Here's an interesting piece of Thanksgiving food trivia: Though it's become a staple on Thanksgiving tables across the country in years since, turkey probably wasn't on the menu at the first Thanksgiving feast shared by the pilgrims and the Wampanoag native people. Instead, they were more likely to feast on venison and even seafood, given how plentiful things like mussels, clams, and lobster are in Massachusetts.

How long did the first Thanksgiving last?

Answer: 3 days

Today's celebration may only last one day, but the first was much longer. The first Thanksgiving was a celebratory feast in honor of the Pilgrims' first successful corn harvest, and it lasted three full days! After the hardships the Pilgrims endured while seeking out a new land, let's just say they were in the mood to party.

Where was the first Thanksgiving in the U.S.?

Answer: Plymouth, Massachusetts

Part of the pilgrims' original settlement remains unscathed in the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Retaining the original buildings, costumes, and foods of the time, (and even the spelling—Plimoth instead of Plymouth), it's a great place to visit with your family if you want to learn more about the history of the first Thanksgiving celebration and what it could have been like.

What was missing from the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Answer: Balloons

The huge, floating balloons are an iconic part of the parade that travels down Fifth Avenue in New York City— and the the main reason most of us tune in! But the first parade actually went on without balloons—they didn't make their debut until a few years later. One thing the first parade did have? Live zoo animals!

Has Thanksgiving always been the last week of November?

Answer: No

Today, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November. But during the Great Depression in 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the third week instead of the fourth in an attempt to boost holiday spending. Turkey Day was moved back to its original date only 2 years later.

Why is football played on Thanksgiving?

Answer: Baseball used to be too popular.

Thanksgiving Day football games started as a way to promote the sport across baseball-obsessed Detroit. The publicity stunt worked, and since 1934, football has been played on Thanksgiving every year.

Why is the day after Thanksgiving called Black Friday?

Answer: To keep people away from stores!

Despite the fact that it's now easily the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday was given its nefarious title to actually deter people from shopping! Kind of ironic, no? According to the story of Black Friday, the Philadelphia Police Department wanted to prevent hoards of people from shopping on the day after Thanksgiving so they came up with an ominous title for the day. Guess it didn't work!

What New England town once cancelled Thanksgiving for lack of pumpkin pie?

Answer: Colchester, Connecticut

Apparently, it's not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. At least that's the case for the town of Colchester, Connecticut, which was rumored to have postponed the holiday one year because a molasses shortage threatened their pumpkin pies.

True or false: Eating turkey makes you tired.

Answer: False

While it's true that studies show the amino acid tryptophan causes drowsiness in lab rats, turkey doesn't contain enough to make much of a difference in humans. So if you're in need of a snooze after your Thanksgiving feast, you can blame all those calories—and probably dessert, too—rather than the bird.

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