There Is Something Called A Turkey Pardon? Discover Obscure Thanksgiving Traditions That American Families Practice

Thanksgiving Day is not just about the family dinner. While every family has its Thanksgiving tradition, some traditions are general. However, there are some weird Thanksgiving cultures and traditions that make us wonder what brought about them in the first place. Here are five bizarre Thanksgiving traditions that some families practice in America.

Frozen Turkey Bowling

Well, this tradition shows us that turkey isn’t just for the dining table on Thanksgiving Day. Who knew some people participate in turkey bowling? It’s impressive that the money raised at this event is used to combat smoking. 

Courtesy: Cars For Sale

Established in 1988, the turkey bowling event involves tossing oiled, frozen turkey from a grocery store aisle at a set of bowling pins. It is unarguably the most popular Thanksgiving tradition at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. 

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Ragamuffin Day

There was a Halloween-like Thanksgiving tradition in the 19th century that involved people dressing up and wearing masks on Thanksgiving Day. People got more creative and started to dress like the opposite genders and famous politicians.

Courtesy: IrishCentral

However, in the 20th century, this tradition became Ragamuffin Day– a day where children dressed in rags and went from door to door asking for Thanksgiving treats. People still observe this tradition to this day.

Turkey Pardons

In the 1940s, a funny tradition called the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation was established in America. It involved the presentation of a live turkey to the president– and he ‘pardons’ the bird from being killed and eaten. 

What makes it a funny tradition was that these presidents ate these turkeys, until the late 1980s when the turkeys were really sent to Mount Vernon to live out their days. Could a national tradition be weirder?

San Franciscan Seafood Thanksgiving 

While an average New Yorker knows that turkey is an essential part of Thanksgiving dinner, it doesn’t mean the same thing for those in San Francisco. The turkey is replaced with something else– seafood.

Courtesy: Fog Harbor

Since the Thanksgiving period is also when the Dungeness crab season starts, Turkey Day in most San Francisco homes is crab day. Thanksgiving dinner usually features crab instead of turkey. Doesn’t that sound unbelievable?

Turkey Toss

While some weird Thanksgiving traditions are for a good cause, some just seem like a way of passing time. The turkey toss tradition that originated in Indianapolis falls under the second category.

Turkey toss is unique Thanksgiving celebration |
Courtesy: WTHR

This tradition involves dressing turkey figurines in baby onesies and lighting them on fire. Then, these burning ‘turkeys’ are thrown across a football field to see whose figurine flew further. It’s not surprising that high school students started it- and they still do it.

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