Thanksgiving: Biden pardons chocolate and chip turkeys

Biden pardons chocolate and chip turkeys

The two national turkeys “Chocolate” and “Chip” stand before US President Biden’s pardon of the national turkey and “his deputy” in the Rose Garden of the White House. photo

© Andrew Harnik/AP/dpa

A fat roast turkey is a must for Thanksgiving in the USA. But Abraham Lincoln’s son once initiated a ritual of a completely different kind.

A few days before the American Thanksgiving holiday, US President Joe Biden pardoned two turkeys in a traditional ceremony. Thus the two birds were spared the fate of many conspecifics on this holiday. The turkeys that Biden saved from death on Monday in bright sunshine on the South Lawn of the White House are called “Chocolate” and “Chip”.

He’ll keep it short, said a good-humored Biden, looking at low temperatures of around five degrees. “Nobody likes their turkey getting cold,” the president joked, somewhat ambiguously. “Chocolate” likes to sit in the sun and “Chip” likes basketball and barbecue, he said. The birds chattered several times during the ceremony – but when Biden held the microphone up to one of them, he remained silent.

On Thanksgiving, American families traditionally serve turkey. The US President has a long history of pardoning turkeys. Since the 19th century, the presidential family has received a particularly sumptuous turkey before the holiday. According to the White House, President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) is said to have pardoned one of the animals for the first time at the request of his son. Under President George Bush senior, pardoning turkeys became a fixed ritual in 1989. Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US next Thursday.


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