As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to gather ’round with family and friends. And what better way to spend quality time than with a game of trivia questions all about Thanksgiving?
Whether you’re a seasoned Turkey Day aficionado or a curious newbie seeking to expand your Thanksgiving repertoire, this post is your one-stop destination for a feast of information and fun!
In this special holiday trivia quiz, we’ll delve into the fascinating history of Thanksgiving, exploring its origins and uncovering lesser-known facts about this cherished celebration.
But that’s not all! We’ll also shine a spotlight on popular Thanksgiving movies and music, inviting you to reminisce and hum along to the festive tunes that make this holiday season truly magical.
Of course, no Thanksgiving trivia would be complete without a deep dive into the traditions and sumptuous food that grace our tables! You’ll find a whole section about Thanksgiving food in our post!
So, get ready to be entertained, educated, and delighted as we serve up fun Thanksgiving trivia questions perfect for the whole family!
Looking for Thanksgiving trivia questions just for the kids? Check out this post: Thanksgiving Trivia Questions For Kids (Plus Jokes They’ll Love)
* This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful content. Thanks!
Before you dive into all the fun, we invite you to bookmark or save some of these other related trivia quizzes for later! There is no end to the trivia fun!
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Thanksgiving Trivia Questions: Fun Facts
What is the heaviest turkey on record, according to the Guinness World Records?
Answer: 86 pounds (39 kilograms).
Thanksgiving was not always associated with football. What major sporting event took place on Thanksgiving Day before football became popular?
Answer: Before football, horse racing was a popular sport associated with Thanksgiving Day.
What is the total number of calories the average American consumes on Thanksgiving Day?
Answer: The average American consumes around 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day.
Which U.S. Founding Father famously called turkeys “a bird of courage”?
Answer: Benjamin Franklin
Which country’s first Thanksgiving celebration actually predates America’s by more than 40 years?
Answer: Canada. In 1578, an expedition led by the English navigator Martin Frobisher held a ceremony in what is now Nunavut, giving thanks for the safety of their fleet. This is considered the first-ever Thanksgiving celebration in North America!
When is Thanksgiving celebrated in Canada?
Answer: The second Monday in October
Can you name at least two of the top five Thanksgiving travel destinations in the USA for 2022?
Answer: Per AAA, the top 5 are Orlando, FL; Anaheim, CA; Las Vegas, NV; New York, NY; Atlanta, GA
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Thanksgiving Trivia Questions: All About Food
What is the traditional main course for Thanksgiving dinner?
Answer: Roast turkey
How many hours does it take to thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator?
Answer: The National Grocers Association notes you should allow 24 hours for each four to five pounds of frozen turkey.
Which type of pie is commonly served on Thanksgiving?
Answer: Pumpkin pie
Which gender of turkeys actually gobble — is it the males or females?
Answer: Male turkeys
Over half of all sweet potatoes are grown in which US state?
Answer: North Carolina
What is the name of the traditional Thanksgiving dish made from green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions?
Answer: Green bean casserole
Which herb is commonly used to season Thanksgiving dishes, such as stuffing and roasted turkey?
What is the name of the dish made from a type of starchy vegetable topped with marshmallows and baked until golden brown?
Answer: Sweet potato casserole
Which fall vegetable is often roasted or used in soups and side dishes during Thanksgiving?
Answer: Butternut squash
Can you list some of the ingredients that Thanksgiving stuffing or dressing is made of?
Answer: A combination of bread or breadcrumbs, onions, celery, herbs (such as sage, thyme, and parsley), butter or oil, and seasonings.
Which popular Thanksgiving side is made from cranberries, sugar, and water?
Answer: Cranberry sauce
What is the name of the traditional Thanksgiving drink made from spiced wine and fruit?
Answer: Mulled wine
Which nut is commonly used in Thanksgiving recipes, such as stuffing and pecan pie?
What is the traditional spice used to flavor pumpkin pie, a popular Thanksgiving dessert?
Which U.S. state produces the most turkeys for Thanksgiving?
What household danger triples on Thanksgiving?
Answer: Home fires. There are more than three times the daily average calls about home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day!
Tofurky is a popular alternative for vegetarians and vegans during Thanksgiving. What is Tofurky made of?
Answer: Tofurkey is typically made from a blend of tofu and seasoned wheat protein
In which decade was Tofurkey introduced as a vegetarian alternative for Thanksgiving?
Answer: The 1990s
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Thanksgiving Trivia Questions: Thanksgiving Traditions
Which Thanksgiving parade is the largest and most famous, attracting 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience each year?
Answer: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
In which American state is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held annually?
Answer: New York
Which city holds the oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the United States?
Answer: Philadelphia – Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade. First held in 1920 (4 years before Macy’s), the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade was created by Gimbel Brothers Department Store for the children and residents of Philadelphia.
What is the name of the large annual Thanksgiving parade held in Detroit, Michigan?
Answer: America’s Thanksgiving Parade
What happens to the turkeys that are officially pardoned at the White House?
Answer: The pardoned turkeys are typically sent to a farm or sanctuary where they can live out the rest of their lives.
During which year’s snowstorm blanketed New York City on Thanksgiving Day, causing problems for the Macy’s parade?
Answer: In 1989, four inches of snow fell on NYC, making it the first Thanksgiving Day storm recorded in more than 50 years.
Which country’s equivalent of Thanksgiving is Erntedankfest (“harvest festival of thanks”)?
Answer: Germany. This religious holiday often takes place on the first Sunday in October.
What is the name of the annual running race held on Thanksgiving Day in the United States?
Answer: Turkey Trot
Where in the world did the first Turkey Trot take place?
Answer: Buffalo, New York
Which U.S. department store is famous for organizing the annual Thanksgiving Day parade in Philadelphia?
Which city’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ends with the mayor of the city giving Santa Claus the key to the city?
Answer: Detroit (America’s Thanksgiving Parade).
What is the term for the Friday “holiday” following Thanksgiving, known for its massive shopping discounts?
Answer: Black Friday
Black Friday isn’t the only holiday the day after Thanksgiving. What is the other?
Answer: National Native American Heritage Day, honoring and celebrating their rich cultures, accomplishments, contributions, and heritage.
What is the name of the day that follows Black Friday and encourages people to support small businesses?
Answer: Small Business Saturday
Which NFL football team has played at home on Thanksgiving every year since 1934 — except when games were paused from 1939 to 1944 during World War II?
Answer: The Detroit Lions. Thanksgiving Day football games started as a way to promote the sport across Detroit, a city that was obsessed with the sport of baseball.
Which NFL team holds the record for the most Thanksgiving Day victories?
Answer: Detroit Lions
Which country celebrates Kinro Kansha no Hi (Labor Thanksgiving Day) as a celebration of the rights of the country’s workers?
Answer: Japan. Today, labor organizations lead events where citizens are encouraged to celebrate the principles of hard work and community involvement. To mark the occasion, children often make thank-you cards for policemen, firefighters and other municipal workers.
Which country celebrates Dia de Ação de Graças, a holiday very similar to the celebrations in the US?
What is the name of the horn-shaped object often associated with Thanksgiving and the fall harvest?
Answer: Cornucopia or horn of plenty. It was a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly overflowing with produce, flowers, or nuts.
Thanksgiving Trivia Questions: Thanksgiving In Pop Culture
Which popular Thanksgiving-themed movie features the character Charlie Brown?
Answer: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Which actor portrayed the character “Turkey Lurkey” in the movie “Chicken Little”?
Answer: Adam West
What is the name of the classic Thanksgiving movie featuring Steve Martin and John Candy?
Answer: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Which rock band recorded the song “Thanksgiving” as part of their album “The Last Waltz”?
Answer: The Band (released in 1978).
Who wrote the famous song “Alice’s Restaurant,” which is often played on Thanksgiving?
Answer: Arlo Guthrie
Which of these movies do not feature Thanksgiving and/or are NOT related to the concepts of the Thanksgiving holiday — Home for the Holidays, Pocahontas, Free Birds, or Love the Coopers?
Answer: Love the Coopers (it’s a Christmas movie).
In which year was the comedy film Planes, Trains, and Automobiles released, which features a Thanksgiving theme?
What is the name of the classic 1995 Thanksgiving movie featuring a family’s dysfunctional holiday gathering?
Answer: Home for the Holidays
Can you name at least one place in the US that has the word “Turkey” in its name?
Answer: Per the US Census Bureau, there’s:
- Turkey City (Texas)
- Turkey Creek (Arizona)
- Turkey Creek (Stone County, Arkansas)
- Turkey Creek (McPherson County, Kansas)
- Turkey Creek (Louisiana); Turkey (North Carolina)
- Turkey Valley (Yankton County, South Dakota)
Five places are named after the popular Thanksgiving side dish of cranberries — can you name at least two states they are in?
Answer: Per the US Census Bureau, there’s:
- Cranberry Lake CDP, NY
- Cranberry township, Alleghany County, NC
- Cranberry township, Avery County, NC
- Cranberry township, Butler County, PA
- Cranberry township, Venango County, PA
Thanksgiving Trivia Questions: Holiday History
On which day and month is Thanksgiving celebrated annually in the United States?
Answer: The last Thursday in November
Which year is considered the first official Thanksgiving celebration in the United States?
Who was the man to step forward in Plymouth colony to lead the Pilgrims to the New World and is associated with the first Thanksgiving?
Answer: William Bradford
What nationality were the Pilgrims before they came to the New World?
What did the Pilgrims refer to themselves as? (Hint: it wasn’t “Pilgrims”)
Answer: “Separatists”, as they were part of the English Separatist Church.
What Native American tribe is believed to have celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims?
The first Thanksgiving meal between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe may not have featured turkey. What was the likely centerpiece of the feast?
Answer: It is believed that the centerpiece of the first Thanksgiving feast was roasted venison (deer meat). There was also goose, duck, fish, and porridge or bread made from corn.
Which U.S. President officially established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863?
Answer: Abraham Lincoln
What famous nursery rhyme is associated with Thanksgiving and was written in honor of President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation?
Answer: “Mary Had a Little Lamb” written by Sarah Josepha Hale
Which ship carried the Pilgrims to the New World, where they eventually celebrated the first Thanksgiving?
Answer: The Mayflower
Where did the Pilgrims first land when arriving on America’s shores?
Answer: Provincetown, Massachusetts
Where did the Pilgrims settle in the USA?
Answer: Though the Mayflower initially landed off the coast of Cape Cod, they decided to settle in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
What is the name of the national monument in Plymouth, Massachusetts, dedicated to the Pilgrims and the Mayflower?
Answer: Plymouth Rock
Which president declared Thanksgiving a movable holiday, shifting it to the fourth Thursday of November?
Answer: Franklin D. Roosevelt.
President Roosevelt officially declared that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage what?
Answer: Earlier holiday shopping
How did Native Americans contribute to the first Thanksgiving celebration?
Answer: The Native Americans taught the Pilgrims farming techniques and helped them cultivate crops, such as corn, beans, and squash.
How long did the first Thanksgiving feast between the colonists and Wampanoag last?
Answer: Three days
How do some Native American communities commemorate Thanksgiving today?
Answer: Some Native American communities choose to observe a National Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving to honor the struggles and losses experienced by their ancestors.
Which American author is famous for campaigning to make Thanksgiving a national holiday?
Answer: Sarah Josepha Hale
Which Native American played a crucial role in helping the Pilgrims during their first Thanksgiving and also served as an interpreter between the Pilgrims and Native Americans?
Answer: Tisquantum (Squanto)
What was the impact of the arrival of European settlers on Native American communities during the Thanksgiving era?
Answer: It led to displacement, forced assimilation, and loss of land and resources for many Native American tribes.
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Thanksgiving: Frequently Asked Questions
When is Thanksgiving celebrated in the United States?
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year.
What is the history and origin of Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving has its origins in the 1621 harvest feast shared by the Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe, but the holiday was officially established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
What is the traditional Thanksgiving meal and what foods are typically served?
The traditional Thanksgiving meal often includes roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
How do people traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is typically celebrated by gathering with family and friends, sharing a meal together, expressing gratitude, and sometimes watching or participating in parades, football games, or charitable activities.
What are some popular Thanksgiving traditions and customs?
Some popular Thanksgiving traditions include sharing what you are thankful for over a meal with your loved ones, the pardoning of a turkey by the president, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and participating in Black Friday shopping. And eating way more calories than you need to!
Are there any specific decorations or symbols associated with Thanksgiving?
Common decorations for Thanksgiving include cornucopias (also known as “horns of plenty”), pumpkins, gourds, autumn leaves, and table centerpieces featuring seasonal flowers or candles.
Are there any specific religious or cultural associations with Thanksgiving?
While Thanksgiving has religious roots for some, it is generally celebrated as a secular holiday in the United States. It is primarily associated with giving thanks and celebrating the harvest season.
What are some alternative options for vegetarians or vegans during Thanksgiving?
Vegetarian or vegan alternatives for Thanksgiving include dishes like Tofurky (a tofu-based roast), vegetable Wellington, lentil loaf, or creative plant-based side dishes and desserts.
How can I give back or volunteer during the Thanksgiving season?
You can give back during the Thanksgiving season by volunteering at local food banks, homeless shelters, or community centers, donating to charitable organizations, or participating in initiatives that support those in need during the holiday season.
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