14 Strange Thanksgiving Traditions That Everyone Pretends Aren't Weird

If you live in America, your family probably has some sort of Thanksgiving tradition. Maybe you and your mom watch the big game while your dad obsesses over the turkey, or maybe you and your siblings pitch in to make an epic dessert. But not all Thanksgiving traditions are quite so mainstream. Weird Thanksgiving traditions can take a lot of forms, from dressing up asking for candy to eating crab instead of turkey. After all, it’s not how you celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s who you celebrate it with that counts. We've put together a list of the weirdest Thanksgiving traditions that are bizarre, strange, or downright unheard of. 

One of the most obvious things about old Thanksgiving traditions is that they’re all really weird. Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday that’s usually connected to strange celebrations, but after reading this list you’ll see that America’s turkey day really is the epicenter of a lot of unusual rituals.

Vote up the strangest Thanksgiving traditions below. 

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  • The Turkey Toss
    Video: YouTube
    598 VOTES

    The Turkey Toss

    In Indianapolis, IN, people have started an annual tradition of dressing their turkey in a baby onesie, dousing it in lighter fluid, attaching it to a long chain, lighting it on fire, and throwing it across the length of a football field. This tradition was basically started by a bunch of dudes who wanted to see a flaming turkey streak through the night sky, and now, it's an annual thing.

    598 votes
  • 2
    471 VOTES

    Thanksgiving Masking

    In the 19th century, "masking" was a Halloween-like tradition where adults and kids alike would dress up on Thanksgiving. Most people would wear masks, but others got a little more creative; many young boys would cross-dress as their sisters, and some even went as far as dressing up like prominent political figures. These handmade costumes were a little scary to behold, and the tradition eventually devolved down to Ragamuffin Day. 

    471 votes
  • Frozen Turkey Bowling
    Video: YouTube
    473 VOTES

    Frozen Turkey Bowling

    At the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the most popular Thanksgiving tradition is an event called Frozen Turkey Bowling, where people hurl frozen, oiled-up turkeys down a grocery store aisle at a set of bowling pins. The event raises money to combat smoking, which is an awesome reason to throw a frozen bird at a bunch of bowling pins.

    473 votes
  • 4
    510 VOTES

    Black Friday

    Can we all admit that Black Friday is the worst holiday ever? It's basically just an excuse for people to wrestle in a Macy's parking lot over a discounted Keurig. Like Mother's Day and Valentines Day, Black Friday wasn't even a thing until we decided it was, and started camping out in front of Target to buy TVs at a slight discount.

    510 votes
  • The Wild Turkey 81 Eating World Championship
    Video: YouTube
    393 VOTES

    The Wild Turkey 81 Eating World Championship

    Is there an odder tradition than the one created by a company forcing its way into the national spotlight via competition? No way! Back in 2011, Wild Turkey, the makers of a delicious whiskey, began a turkey eating competition that drew all manner of competitors, but was truly dominated by Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas. After her victory she said, “I left only bone. I’m so happy.”

    393 votes
  • 6
    414 VOTES

    Ragamuffin Day

    During the early 20th century, children used to dress down in rags on Thanksgiving, go door to door, and ask, "Anything for Thanksgiving?" They were rewarded with a piece of candy, a penny, or an apple.

    414 votes