A while ago I was doing a Google Trends search comparing different countries, and noticed an annual pulse in some of the returns. For example, the annual double peak for France matches exactly to the dates of the Tour de France each year. Apparently the Google world searches for France pretty much exclusively to find out about bicycle racing (plus an unfortunate peak around the time of the Air France crash in the Atlantic). But there was a similar annual oddity for Turkey. What annual event in Ankara was causing all the interest? Was that Ramadan? I looked at it for a moment more and then realized that most people searching on Turkey are not interested in the country on the Bosphorus. The little triple blip at the end of the year is for people buying and cooking turkeys, the bird. There's a little rise in October for Thanksgiving as the holiday is celebrated in Canada, a big peak as the Americans have theirs in November, and another peak at the end of December, for Christmas.
To confirm this, limit the search to Canadian results and the shape of the graph changes significantly. Now there are two giant peaks, one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas, with a little blip representing Canadians searching on their neighbours' holiday. Probably ex-pats and people wondering if that's why American businesses aren't answering their phones. And then I noticed that while in Canada the Christmas turkey peak is greater than the Thanksgiving one, in the US the Christmas peak is tiny compared to Thanksgiving. I'm curious about why.
It's probably not a reflection of the fact that almost all Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, but only Christians celebrate Christmas, because the proportion of the two peaks is much less than the proportion of Christians in the population. It could be that having just cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving, Americans either still remember how, thus don't need to google it, or don't want to cook another. So that leads to the question: what do Americans eat instead of turkey for Christmas dinner?
Additionally, a regular turkey peak shows clearly in the Canadian results matched with Easter, but there is none for the USA (discounting 2009, when the US president visited Turkey a few days before Easter). It suggests that Canadians are having turkey for Easter dinner. We get a four day weekend, so maybe we just make a bigger deal of it, but again, Americans have to eat, too. What then do Americans eat for Easter dinner?
I'm sure could google to find out, but it's more fun to ask you.