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Thanksgiving 2013: US Google Doodle celebrates traditional holiday

Google Doodle features animated video of woodland creatures sharing a Thanksgiving meal together
  • @heatheranne9

Today's Google Doodle marks Thanksgiving with an animated film showing an array of woodland creatures sitting down together for a feast.

The traditional holiday is celebrated by millions on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada.

Thanksgiving commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrim Fathers in 1621 and is marked by religious observances and 'giving thanks' as people prepare and eat a meal together.

Turkey is usually served alongside winter vegetables, cranberry sauce and pecan or pumpkin pie. According to the US Department of Agriculture more than 45 million turkeys are eaten on this day - a sixth of all turkeys sold in the US year.

The President also 'pardons' two turkeys who are not going to be slaughtered in a slightly more unusual Thanksgiving 'tradition' invented by Ronald Reagan in 1987.

In an extremely rare coincidence this year, Thanksgiving overlaps with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, sparking the nickname 'Thanksgivukkah' and adding turkey-shaped menorah to some dinner tables.