Why do we eat Turkey on Thanksgiving? Some Interesting Facts

Thanksgiving, as it is celebrated in the United States, is typically centered on a hearty meal. Bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and, of course, turkey are all traditional dishes.

How did turkey come to be the focal point of this feast? Why do we eat turkey on thanksgiving? So there is very interesting information behind this secret. 

why are we eating turkey on thanksgiving

We know that when the colonists sat down to eat with the Wampanoag Indians, beef and fowl were on the menu thanks to letters and records kept by early American settlers.

However, this historic meal became known as the first Thanksgiving. Let’s dig in deep to get more about the serving of turkey on thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Did the Pilgrims suppose to eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

Nobody knows if the turkey was served at the Plymouth colony’s harvest celebration in 1621, but “wild fowl” was undoubtedly mentioned in historical accounts.

A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, written by colonist Edward Winslow, is the best existing account of the Pilgrims’ harvest feast. There was no mention of turkey in Winslow’s first-hand account of the first Thanksgiving. 

Related: Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

However, mentioning the Pilgrims gathering “wild fowl” for the meal could have just as easily referred to ducks or geese.

Turkey on Thanksgiving

Turkeys are a possibility, but they were not a popular food at the time. We also know that the Wampanoag Native Americans brought five deer, indicating that venison was served.

On the other hand, some theories attribute the Thanksgiving turkey to Queen Elizabeth II. While a fleet of Spanish ships sank on their way to attack England in the 16th century.

Why do we eat turkey on thanksgiving? According to legend, Queen Elizabeth found out while eating dinner. She was so pleased that she requested another goose.

According to some historians, the early settlers were inspired by the queen’s actions and roasted a turkey rather than a goose.

The wild turkey is a North American bird. As a result, Benjamin Franklin claimed that the turkey was a more appropriate national bird than the bald eagle.

However, not everyone agreed with Franklin, and the bald eagle became the United States’ national symbol in 1782. The bald eagle may be America’s bird 364 days a year, but the turkey has its holiday called Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu for 2022,

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Why do we eat Turkey on Christmas?

One of the most recognizable aspects of a Christmas dinner is the turkey. For many families, Christmas dinner simply isn’t complete without a turkey.

Most people, however, have no idea where this tradition originated or why turkeys, rather than goose, chicken, or beef, are the most popular option on Christmas Day

why are we eating turkey on thanksgiving

Although turkeys are not native to the United Kingdom, they have been consumed there for hundreds of years.

There is evidence that turkeys were imported into the United Kingdom in the early 16th century, and Henry VIII was reportedly the first British monarch to eat turkeys on Christmas Day.

However, it took over 400 years for the turkey to transition from a specialty, luxury item to the most popular festive centerpiece in the UK. 

Turkey became popular as a Christmas meat after it was introduced to the UK. By the Georgian era, turkey was almost as popular as goose and was eaten frequently at Christmas.

However, it wasn’t until the Victorian era that turkey became the most popular Christmas meat. Turkeys were also used in ‘Christmas Pie,’ an intricate dish popularised during the Georgian era.

A pigeon was stuffed inside a chicken, which was then stuffed inside a turkey, which was then stuffed inside a goose. This turducken-style pie was popular throughout the Victorian era. 


As you have read, a lot of years ago, people don’t eat turkeys on special holidays. Rather, they eat fowl and other wild birds and animals to make their holiday specials.

Somehow, people began to harvest turkeys and start serving them on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays.

Why do we eat turkeys on thanksgiving? Queen and famous people make it a custom to eat and serve turkeys. In this way, it has become the main dish of every holiday table. 

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