A few days before the American Thanksgiving holiday, US President Joe Biden pardoned two turkeys at a traditional ceremony. This means that the two birds were spared the fate of many of their peers on this holiday.

The turkeys that Biden saved from death on the South Lawn of the White House are named “Liberty” and “Bell.” The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is a symbol of American independence.

A birthday joke

Turkey Pardon Day coincided with the president’s 81st birthday this year. Given his age, the cheerful Biden joked at the ceremony that this would be the 76th time turkeys have been pardoned by the president. “I want you to know that I wasn’t there the first time.”

American families traditionally serve turkey on Thanksgiving. Presidential pardons of turkeys have a long history. Since the 19th century, the presidential family has received a particularly magnificent turkey before the holiday. According to the White House, President Abraham Lincoln (1861 to 1865) is said to have pardoned one of the animals for the first time at the request of his son. Under President George Bush Sr., the turkey pardon became a regular ritual in 1989.

Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving) is celebrated in the USA next Thursday.