5 Fun Facts About Thanksgiving You Never Knew

lobsterIt's almost time to pack up the family truckster and drive a few hours to go see some family members and eat some turkey then take a nap, then eat some pie, then call it a day and drive back home. While you're in the car, instead of singing along to annoying kids tunes and/or yelling couched obscenities at people who've cut you off, why not impress your family with some fun facts about Thanksgiving?

Everyone knows that the pilgrims came over on the Mayflower and yada yada yada Indians, disease, harvest, lessons, feast. But what else do you know? Read up, then take your show on the road.
Nowadays, our Thanksgivings are full of pumpkin pies and mashed potatoes, but it's believed that the original feast in 1621 had a menu of lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup, honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese. Phew! That's a mouthful. And hey, anyone else vote to re-include lobster into our meals?
It's not all fun and games and triptofan on the fourth Thursday in November -- American Indians of New England gather in Plymouth, Massachusettes to commemorate a National Day of Mourning while many of us celebrate. Their objective is to raise awareness about the "democide and continued suffering of the Native American peoples."
Ever wonder why Black Friday is called Black Friday? Nope, not because your nose gets frostbit standing in line at 3 a.m. in freezing temperatures to get 25 percent off at Sport Authority. And no, it has nothing to do with how dark your heart feels after dropping a thousand bucks on a T.V. you didn't need just because it was half off. It's actually called Black Friday because it's hoped that the busy shopping day will bring stores out of the red, and into the black.

Think we're so special for getting two days off from work and school to feast with family and friends? Think again. The native Hawaiians celebrated Makahiki, the world's longest Thanksgiving, that spanned from November to February. During that time, work was forbidden.

And finally, an average adult American consumes about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving, alone. It's been estimated that the Thanksgiving meal itself is around 3,000, then you gotta tack on an extra 1,500 for booze, appetizers, and, of course, snacking. In case you were wondering, in order to burn off about 3,500 calories, a 160-pound person must walk 30 miles. Oof.

Happy Turkey Day!

What's your favorite Thanksgiving fun fact that not everyone knows?

Photo via jan beckendorf/Flickr
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