By Saeed Mirshekari

Nov 18, 2023


Thanksgiving, a quintessential American holiday, serves as a time for gratitude, family reunions, and an indulgent feast that marks the beginning of the holiday season. Beneath the surface of this cherished celebration lies a treasure trove of data waiting to be analyzed. In this comprehensive research blog, we embark on a journey through the data analytics of Thanksgiving in the United States, unraveling patterns, preferences, and the evolving dynamics of this annual tradition.

1. Historical Insights

To comprehend the current landscape of Thanksgiving, it is imperative to delve into its historical roots. By analyzing historical data, we can trace the evolution of this celebration—from its humble beginnings with the pilgrims to the modern-day extravaganza. Unearthing data on changing traditions, migration patterns, and the influence of historical events provides a nuanced understanding of the holiday's journey through time.

2. Travel Patterns: Over the Rivers and Through the Skies

Thanksgiving is synonymous with travel, as families crisscross the country to come together. By scrutinizing travel data, including flight bookings, road trips, and public transportation usage, we can unveil trends in migration during this festive season. Economic conditions, travel restrictions, and emerging destinations all leave their mark on the data, providing insights into the ebb and flow of Thanksgiving travel.

2.1 Flight Bookings: The Sky's the Limit

This plot shows the common flying paths between the cities across the united states in Thanksgiving holidays.

2.2 Road Trips: Journeying Across the States

This plot shows the most popular road trip routes during the Thanksgiving holiday, along with key points of interest.

3. Consumer Spending and Retail Trends: Beyond Turkey and Gravy

While Thanksgiving is steeped in tradition, it also serves as the kickoff for the holiday shopping season. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is a retail spectacle. Analyzing consumer spending data provides a window into shopping trends, popular products, and the ongoing shift between online and in-store shopping experiences.

3.1 Black Friday Sales: A Shopper's Delight

4. Social Media and Thanksgiving: #Grateful

In the age of social media, holidays are shared and celebrated online. Analyzing social media data during Thanksgiving unveils popular hashtags, trending topics, and the sentiments associated with the holiday. This section explores how people express gratitude, share recipes, and connect with others through platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

4.1 Hashtag Popularity: Trending Thanks

5. Regional Variations: A Tapestry of Traditions

Thanksgiving traditions vary across regions. Analyzing regional data unveils unique customs, culinary specialties, and variations in the timing of celebrations. Understanding these regional differences adds depth to our appreciation of the cultural tapestry that is Thanksgiving in the United States.

5.1 Regional Thanksgiving Customs: Diverse Celebrations

6. Environmental Impact: Beyond the Table

The environmental impact of Thanksgiving is a growing concern. Analyzing data related to food waste, carbon footprints from travel, and energy consumption during the holiday season provides insights into the ecological aspects of Thanksgiving. This section explores how individuals and communities are addressing sustainability issues associated with the holiday.

6.1 Food Waste Statistics: Nourishing the Earth

The amount of food waste generated during the Thanksgiving holiday, emphasizing the need for sustainable practices is huge.

7. Challenges and Controversies: Beyond Tradition

Thanksgiving is not without its controversies, including discussions around its historical context, cultural sensitivity, and debates over how the holiday should be observed. Analyzing data from surveys, social media discussions, and public opinion polls provides a better understanding of the challenges and controversies surrounding Thanksgiving in the contemporary context.


In conclusion, the data analytics of Thanksgiving in the United States offers a multifaceted view of this cherished holiday. From historical perspectives to modern-day trends, from culinary choices to environmental considerations, examining the data provides valuable insights into the evolving nature of Thanksgiving celebrations. As we continue to embrace the traditions of this holiday, understanding the data behind it enriches our appreciation for the cultural tapestry that is Thanksgiving in the United States.

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About O'Fallon Labs

In O'Fallon Labs we help recent graduates and professionals to get started and thrive in their Data Science careers via 1:1 mentoring and more.

Saeed Mirshekari, PhD

Saeed is currently a Director of Data Science in Mastercard and the Founder & Director of O'Fallon Labs LLC. He is a former research scholar at LIGO team (Physics Nobel Prize of 2017). Learn more about Saeed...

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