Thanksgiving doesn’t feel like a holiday filled with a lot of mystery. It’s pretty simple, really: To commemorate a big feast shared by Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621, we invite over friends and family during the last Thursday in late November and eat way too much turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce and try not to talk about politics and watch a lot of football. What else is there, right?
Well, you’d be surprised. There’s so much more than meets the eye in this annual tradition. It’s a holiday with a complicated (and often hilarious) history and more plot twists than a spy novel. Here are 30 strange but true facts about Thanksgiving that will blow your mind.
More than any other holiday, including boozy celebrations like New Year’s, the Super Bowl, and St. Patrick’s Day, the night before Thanksgiving is a boon for bar sales. Small business consulting firm Womply claims that “Drinksgiving”—yes, it’s got its own name now—brings an 167 percent increase in alcohol sales compared to a typical Wednesday night. Apparently lots of people need a little liquor courage to spend an entire day with family.