November 28, 2013

National Turkey Day

“A turkey never voted for an early Christmas.” - an Irish Proverb

It's National Turkey Day!
(Please note: this is a floating food holiday. It occurs on the fourth Thursday of November each year.)

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It makes my heart and soul happy, because it's a day without an agenda (at least it is for my family). We celebrate today very literally - we break bread with our loved ones and spend the day giving thanks for everything we have however much or little that is. It's a peaceful, quiet time that helps each of us be still. It's probably one of the few days a year we truly practice present moment awareness to its fullest.

As such, it drives me crazy when people flippantly refer to today as "Turkey Day." Yes, for many people, the day centers around eating a bird (or a mock version of the stuff). But, y'know, it isn't even clear if turkey was even present at the first Thanksgiving; that was a tradition most likely started during the Victorian era. So today, in honor of "Turkey Day" I wanna focus on something else:

The Presidential Pardon

Each Thanksgiving the President pardons one turkey from being slaughtered. It, instead, gets to spend the rest of it's life roaming happily and freely on a farm. According to the White House blog, the pardoning may have started during Abe Lincoln's presidency. In 1963, President Kennedy decided to let the turkey that the National Turkey Federation sent him back to the farm he came from. President Nixon decided to send his turkey gift to a nearby petting farm. But the official first "pardon" goes to President George H.W. Bush of all people. On November 14th, 1989, he declared that year's turkey had "been granted a presidential pardon."

And now you're all the wiser, foodies!

Also... how beautiful does this all look?:

Happy National Turkey Day!