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Whereas, it doesn’t appear that Mediterranean states celebrate Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving is celebrated around the world.

Where is Thanksgiving celebrated?

This national holiday is celebrated at various times during the months of October and November in

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Grenada
  • Liberia
  • The Netherlands
  • Philippines
  • Saint Lucia
  • United States

There are also similar, harvest observances in

  • Germany
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom

In Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

Why turkey?

William Bradford, a colonist in the Plymouth area, helps us understand as noted in his journal. After being lost for a century, his journals were reprinted in 1856. Bradford wrote of how the colonists had hunted wild turkeys during the autumn of 1621 and since turkey is a uniquely American (and scrumptious) bird, it gained traction, for the advocates who wanted Thanksgiving as a national holiday and as the meal of choice for Americans after Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.

In his article: Why We Eat What We Eat On Thanksgiving, Ethan Trex also states:

Moreover, there were pragmatic reasons for eating turkey rather than, say, chicken at a feast like Thanksgiving. The birds are large enough that they can feed a table full of hungry family members, and unlike chickens or cows, they didn't serve much utilitarian purpose like laying eggs or making milk. Unlike pork, turkey wasn't so common that it didn't seem like a suitable choice for a special occasion, either.

How did the North American bird get its name?

First, it’s good to know that the republic of Turkey (look north of Egypt, east of Greece) isn’t exactly a breeding ground for the bird that Americans associate with Thanksgiving. Second, the turkey we know is native to North America.

Let’s get the facts on the two turkeys. The word turkey has been used to refer to “land occupied by the Turks” since the 1300s and was even used by Chaucer in The Book of the Duchess. The word Turk is of unknown origin, but it’s used in such varying languages as Italian, Arabic, Persian, and many others to refer to people from this region. The land occupied by the Turks was known as the Ottoman Empire from the 1300s until 1922, but following World War I and the fall of the Ottomans, the republic of Turkey was declared, taking on the name that had long referred to that region. As for the turkey with wings, Meleagris gallopavo is an odd-looking bird that’s known for its bare head, wattle, and iridescent plumage. So how did the land occupied by the Turks become associated with a North American bird? First, we have to get to know another bird: the guinea fowl. This bird bears some resemblance to the American bird. Though it’s native to eastern Africa, the guinea fowl was imported to Europe through the Ottoman Empire and came to be called the turkey-cock or turkey-hen. When settlers in the New World began to send similar-looking fowl back to Europe, they were mistakenly called turkeys.

Do Turks eat Turkey, or is that cannibalism?

Yes, residents of the country, Turkey, do eat Turkey (yet it is not very popular). In fact, Turks may eat Turkey (food) more than they know. Turkey meat is “gold” for “red meat foods” to lower their costs and is mixed into dishes like kebab, döner and “saç kavurma”.





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