Thanksgiving Day vs Turkey Day: Difference and Comparison

Thanksgiving Day is the day of giving thanks, and it is the most celebrated festival in America and Canada; that celebrates the harvest.

It was first celebrated in the USA to give thanks to the Native Americans who helped the early settlers (pilgrims) to grow crops, fish, and hunt and make their life easy on the new land.

It is a 3-day long festival where people travel from all over the country to celebrate the holiday with their families.

Traditional Thanksgiving food includes turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and many more.

Some people also call Thanksgiving Turkey Day, as it reminds them that turkey is the main course on the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Turkey Day It’s just a fun way to say Thanksgiving, it has nothing to do with not wanting to use the word Thanksgiving, it’s just that people love funny nicknames and ways to say things.

Key Takeaways

  1. Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, while Turkey Day is an informal nickname for the same occasion.
  2. Both terms celebrate gratitude, family gatherings, and feasting, but Thanksgiving Day has a more formal and historical connotation.
  3. Turkey Day emphasizes the culinary aspect of the celebration, particularly the traditional turkey dish.

Thanksgiving Day vs Turkey Day

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday in the United States and Canada, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November to give thanks for the year’s blessings. However, Turkey Day is a colloquial term for Thanksgiving Day, so named because a roasted turkey is a traditional dish served during the holiday feast.

Thanksgiving Day vs Turkey Day

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Thanksgiving Day: People celebrate Thanksgiving day so that they can be thankful for the good things in their lives, it is the day when people celebrate their happiness with their families, relatives, and friends.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in the Mid Autumn of 1621 when the pilgrims hosted a feast to thank the Native Americans for helping them to get a good harvest.

It was only on October 3, 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday upon the request of a writer Sarah Josepha Hale, famous for her poem Mary Had a little lamb; she wrote letters to President Abraham Lincoln for years to make it a national Holiday.

Turkey Day: By the end of the 19th-century, people across the country called Thanksgiving as Turkey Day, which gives the turkey a permanent place on the Thanksgiving table.

People cook a turkey on this day and serve turkey as the main course on the table. Many people cook turkey once a year, particularly on this day hence, it is called Turkey Day.

It can also be considered as the nickname given to Thanksgiving Day.

Turkey is a native to North America and is chosen to be served at the early Thanksgiving, and they were big, big enough to feed and enjoy with the family, which compelled people to call Thanksgiving as Turkey Day.

Also, there was no turkey at the first Thanksgiving table. However, when Sarah Josepha Hale ran a campaign to make Thanksgiving as the National Holiday, she also shared a recipe for stuffed turkey, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce which later became the main food items of Thanksgiving Day.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonThanksgiving DayTurkey Day
First came into ExistenceIt came into existence in the Mid Autumn of 1621

It came into existence by the 19th century.
Purpose It is celebrated to give thank for all the good things that we have in our life.It is just to remind us that turkey is the main dish on Thanksgiving.
Related toIt is related to the emotional feelings of the people.When we say Turkey day, it is in related to the food items in Thanksgiving.
Emerge due toIt was the result of the continuous effort of Sarah Josepha Hale.It was the outcome of people’s minds as they see a turkey as the main dish at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
NomenclatureThanksgiving Day is a noble name given to express our gratitude towards others.Turkey Day is a nickname or a synonym of Thanksgiving.

What is Thanksgiving Day?

It all started when a group of people known as Pilgrims came to Settle in Massachusetts on a broad ship called MayFlower in 1620, when they arrived, it was too late to farm, their first winter was full of miseries, they did not have enough food to eat, their fellow members were starving and dying from diseases they have nothing to do but to wait for this time to pass.

The following spring, the Native American tribe came to their rescue, they taught them how to grow crops, hunt, and fish.

The Pilgrims were lucky as they had a huge harvest in the mid-Autumn of 1621. They wanted to thank the Native American tribe, so they organized a feast to thank them all.

It was a three-day-long feast, before dining, they thanked the Mighty Lord for all the food, wealth, and health that he bestowed on them. So, this is how Thanksgiving started.

Later it was declared a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln.

It was possible due to the untiring effort of Sarah Josepha Hale, who is considered as the godmother of Thanksgiving, she wrote letters to President Lincoln for years to make it a National Holiday.

As a result, people celebrate Thanksgiving as one of the important festivals in the United States Of America and Canada, and other parts of the world.


What is Turkey Day?

Turkey Day is nothing but a nickname given to Thanksgiving, people don’t mean to disrespect or try to lessen the value of Thanksgivings day by calling it Turkey Day, it just reminds them of the importance of turkey on their Thanksgiving table, without which the feast is incomplete.

No matter what people call it, the values of Thanksgiving Day will always remain the same as long as people have the feeling of gratitude and respect in their hearts.

The reference of Thanksgiving to Turkey Day reminds people that it’s the time to feast and enjoy a delightful meal with their loved ones. 

turkey day

Main Differences Between Thanksgiving Day and Turkey Day

  1. Thanksgiving Day is a name of a festival, whereas Turkey Day is the other name of Thanksgiving Day.
  2. When we refer to Thanksgiving Day, it means to be thankful for the good things we have in our lives, whereas when we say Turkey Day, it mainly refers to the dish made of turkey.
  3. Thanksgiving reminds us of when the Pilgrims first came to North America, whereas Turkey Day is a reminder of the importance of turkey on our Thanksgiving table.
  4. Sarah Josepha Hale is the God Mother of Thanksgiving, whereas Turkey Day is the outcome of human nature of naming things.
  5. The festival is called Thanksgiving because people celebrate and thank others for all the blessings in their lives, on the other hand, it is called Turkey Day because most people cook one turkey a year, especially on this day, and therefore it is good-naturedly christened “Turkey Day.”
Difference Between Thanksgiving Day and Turkey Day

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