The American Thanksgiving holiday is always on the fourth Thursday of November. What’s notable about the occasion is just how flexible it is, and how it really does cross ethnic, religious, and political lines in a country that often seems to have too many of these divisions.
The secret to its success lies in its simplicity, of course. The holiday centers around a meal, and that is about it. The holiday originally marked a celebration of gratitude between founding settlers and native Americans, and also noted the beginning of the winter holiday season, with only a month to Christmas. There is a strong emphasis on reunion and gathering together with family and friends. It is considered a traveling holiday, but a shortened one, as it typically only spans the the four days from Thursday, Friday and then through the weekend. For the college student away in their first year at school, it could be the first time they return home.
Domestic travel rates reflect this start to the holiday season, with AAA (American Automobile Association) predicting the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2005, with 1.6 million more people taking to the roads this year, and airfares steadily climbing during this period.
The other secret to this American holiday’s success lies in that flexibility we mentioned earlier. For a holiday considered to be so “traditional”, Americans really do make a lot of allowances for last-minute improvisation. No family nearby? No problem—dinner with friends is just as important. Location? Dinner is often held at the home of the matriarch or patriarch or some elder in the family (fond memories of my own Thanksgiving dinners at my great aunt’s house), the family tradition could also be: location is wherever the most organized person resides. No one can cook? No problem—eating out at a restaurant is perfectly acceptable. Many people I know welcome going out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving, and many restaurants enjoy putting together a prix fixe menu for the holiday. A whole roast turkey isn’t the easiest of undertakings, and with an assortment of other dishes, prep time + cook time + clean up can easily equal a full day or more total. That great aunt of mine I mentioned? She began making some dishes the day before, on Wednesday!
Foods traditional to the meal are similar or often interchangeable with Christmas—turkey or some other bird, ham, potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie, etc. It’s as much about colors as it is about flavors—the colors of autumn; orange, brown, etc.
Aside from the dinner (which is usually held in the late afternoon, an early dinner), there are few other widespread traditions. The NFL (National Football League) has traditionally organized three televised games for Thanksgiving day. The first two are hosted by the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. The third game has no fixed teams or conferences. So for football fans, afternoons before dinner and after are often spent in front of the television watching the games.
One tradition common to Thanksgiving dinner is that at the start of the meal, guests take turns expressing their gratitude for something—it could be good health, the start of a new job, whatever. Here at Macau Lifestyle, we are grateful to live in such an interesting city, and share it with our friends and family.
Celebrate Thanksgiving in style at Grand Coloane Resort, from homemade turkey to traditional Thanksgiving dinner buffet. Create the memories to last!
Thinking of hosting the party at home? Grand Coloane Resort is offering homemade turkey with chef’s special stuffing at MOP $150 per kg (minimum order: 5 kg).
THANKSGIVING DINNER BUFFET
When: Thursday, November 23rd
Where: Grand Coloane Resort, 1918 Estrada de Hac Sa, Coloane
How much: MOP $388* per adult and MOP $194* per child; Boa Vida and The Club Members enjoy 20% discount
Book now at +853 8899 1020