Travel by numbers: Thanksgiving

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This Thursday marks the biggest holiday celebrations in the US. Jonny Payne starts the countdown


2


The length in miles of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, starting on 77th and Central Park West and ending at Herald Square (34th St and 7th Avenue).

It has become one of the major events of the New York calendar since its inception in 1924: more than three million people line in the streets while another 50 million watch on TV. Kanye West and Macy Gray head this year's musical line-up. macys.com

1621

The year of the first official Thanksgiving – a feast held in Plimoth in Massachusetts by the Pilgrim Fathers. The festival is now celebrated across the United States and beyond on the fourth Thursday of November, to express gratitude for a plentiful harvest, family, friends, and material possessions. To see where the pilgrims settled, visit the Plimoth Plantation where there's a replica of the Mayflower called the Mayflower II. plimoth.org

4

The number of turkeys, in millions, eaten in the United States over Thanksgiving. One is the number of turkeys officially "pardoned" by the President at the White House, thus sparing it from slaughter. Last year, President Obama pardoned Courage, a 20-week-old turkey. See if you can catch a glimpse of this year's lucky bird in Washington DC. whitehouse.gov

5

The time in the morning many major shops in the US open on "Black Friday" (some open even earlier). The day follows Thanksgiving and has become synonymous with sales. The day was dubbed "Black Friday" because traditionally it was when shops would make a large profit helping them to "go into the black". The recent drop in the value of the dollar has seen flight searches to New York increase by nearly 20 per cent for the period this year. You can still pick up a bargain for next weekend: Delta has return Heathrow-JFK flights departing 25-28 November for £362 per person. delta.com

11

The time in the morning of this year's Thanksgiving Day Service at St Paul's Cathedral in London. Here you can celebrate Thanksgiving in the surrounds of Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece. US Ambassador Louis B. Susman invites worshippers for the non-denominational service on Thursday at 11am. stpauls.co.uk

120

The number of pilgrims who left England on the Mayflower in 1620. If you can't make it to Plimoth in the US, you can celebrate Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Devon, at the spot where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail. Study the bronze plaques at The Mayflower Steps commemorating the voyage and gaze out to sea from Plymouth Hoe. Head for the Guildhall at 10am this Thursday for the raising of the flag. thanksgivingplymouth.com

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