The Strangest Thanksgiving Traditions in America

Thanksgiving is rich with tradition, but some traditions are stranger than others. Prepare to be shocked, surprised and at time utterly flabbergasted as you see what some of your fellow Americans get up to at this time of year! Enjoy.

Turkey Pardoning:
That’s right – turkey pardoning. Every year, some 50 million turkeys are subject to the chopping block, but two lucky ones had their lives spared by the President of the United States!

The pardon was granted in the White House’s Rose Garden and the two turkeys were sent to live out their days at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s family estate. The first instance of this tradition is thought to have come from John F. Kennedy in 1963, although the decision to officially pardon the turkey was started by George H.W. Bush in 1989.

Turkey Testicle Eating Competition:
Do I really need to explain any more? If you were at Timothy O’Toole’s in Chicago, you could have pitted your stomachs against numerous other crazies for the crown of champion turkey testicles eater!

A Turkey by Any Other Name:
This one is pretty weird and made more strange by just how wide-reaching it is. Americans appeared to have more than just a culinary love for their Thanksgiving birds, with more than 5% of people confessing to naming their birds before attacking them with the carving knife! But if you think that’s strange we have also found examples of people who danced with their featherless friends before they got stuffed!

Paper Pets for Military Vets:
This one took us to the Clark County Shooting Range, just North of Las Vegas where a group of Turkey lovers ran a special “humanitarian” thanksgiving shoot. Turkeys were replaced with paper replicas and people showed up in droves to compete for prizes and raise money for homeless military vets.

The Thanksgiving Weigh In:
There is a seemingly worrying tradition for some of the men of the family who engaged in competitive eating. Husbands, sons, brothers, and uncles staged a pre-eating weigh in then competed to see who could gain the most weight during the meal before a post-meal weight-check!