Thanksgiving is a traditional North American holiday celebrated every fourth Thursday of November. This year, it will take place on November 28th. The origin of this festival dates back to the seventeenth century.

In 1620, British settlers landed the Mayflower at Plymouth, in Massachusetts. The beginnings of colonization were difficult and half of them died during the winter. The following spring, the Native Americans helped them by teaching them to grow different plants and vegetables but also by passing on various hunting and fishing techniques. After fruitful harvests the following year, the colonists invited the Amerindians to share their meal. Game and roast turkeys will be tasted. For many, this celebration is at the origin of Thanksgiving.

Today, this holiday is celebrated by the vast majority of Americans. Families and friends gather to share a meal that lasts a good part of the afternoon and watch US football games on television.

According to tradition, the meal should include a stuffed turkey with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry jelly and a pumpkin pie for dessert.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

The event not to be missed on Thanksgiving Day is the Macy’s parade! More than 3.5 million people are expected in the streets of New York to attend this event, more than 50 million curious watching the show on television on NBC.

It was in 1924 that the first parade of Thanksgiving was celebrated. Macy’s employees disguised themselves as musicians and animals on loan from the Central Park Zoo. At the end of this parade, Santa went to Macy’s in Herald Square. Following the success of the first editions, Macy’s decided to organize this parade every year.

You’ll discover an impressive parade that lasts about three hours with large decorated floats and huge balloons with cartoon characters like Shrek, Spider-Man, Hello Kitty, SpongeBob or Mickey Mouse. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade includes more than 1,500 dancers and cheerleaders, about 1,000 clowns, nearly 30 tanks and more than 10,000 participants. The parade will leave at 9:00 am at the corner of 77th Street and Central Park West and will descend 6th Avenue to Herald Square.

We recommend arriving early enough, around 6.30am, to get a better view of the parade (72nd to 61st Street). Avoid going between 34th and 38th Street on 6th Avenue, as well as on 34th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue, because the devices of the television channels (cameras and vans) that broadcast the parade will embarrass you and the spectators will be present in number. + INFO

The day before the parade, you can observe the inflating giant balloons. The inflation zone is located outside the Natural History Museum, located at Central Park West and 79th Street.

To get there, you must go to the entrance at the intersection of 74th Street and Columbus Avenue. You will then be guided into the observation area, then you will exit at 81st Street near the metro station.

The balloons will begin to be inflated around 13h and this until about 20h. The ballad in this zone can take between 40 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the number of spectators present and the time you will take to see the different balloons.

Black Friday in stores

This is the favorite day of the year for crazy shoppers with sales all over the city! The Black Friday takes place the Friday following Thanksgiving and marks the kick-off of the end of year shopping in the US. You’ll find sensational discounts of up to -80%! In some stores you will get 50% off all items! The sales are really incredible during this period. For the occasion, some stores open at midnight. To make the best deals, go early to major brands like Macy’s, Century 21, Abercrombie & Fitch and Apple. + INFO

If the shops are too crowded for you, wait for the weekend to do good business or go to the online shops that also make discounts.