Some may believe that Thanksgiving is a holiday exclusive to America, but its celebrated around the world with unique and exciting traditions. As there are about 17 countries that have their own way of celebrating Thanksgiving, different places do so for a variety of reasons. Some celebrations commemorate migrations to the Americas while others look at the beginning of a new lunar cycle as the start of the harvest season.
In different places, the traditions may differ, but the purpose of this holiday remains the same: it’s an opportunity to spend time with the people who you’re thankful for or are important to you.
In Canada, Canadians begun to celebrate their Thanksgiving much before Thanksgiving in America became a holiday. They celebrate this day because an English explorer named Martin established the celebration when he and his crew made the successful journey to North America. Workers across the country have the day off, with exceptions in a few places where it’s an optional holiday. Their food resembles the food Americans eat, with Turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.
In China, they celebrate their yearly Chung Chiu moon festival, also called the fall harvest. Here, Chinese people celebrate with a 3 day feast with the highlight of the meal being a sweet delicacy, known as the mooncake. As friends and family share this mooncake, they view the full moon and sing as it marks peace and togetherness for the season.
Germany’s version to commemorate Thanksgiving is through their Erntedankfest, which is mainly celebrated by religious groups to be thankful for their harvest. It is different from America’s thanksgiving in the way that it’s a church service and there isn’t a specific designated day for the holiday. This celebration occurs in German speaking countries, such as Austria and Switzerland. With it’s religious aspects, Erntedank is sponsored by both Christian and Protestant churches.
Aside from our different thanksgiving celebrations, the week off allows students to spend more time with their families for the better. My family usually celebrates with neighbors and friends for a nice Thanksgiving dinner with delicious food, music, and games. However, it’ll look a bit different this year with social distancing and fewer people. Various countries celebrate this significant holiday in a variety of ways, but in each nation, it is still commemorated as a form to give thanks and share what we’re thankful for. Regardless of it’s different traditions, styles, and celebrations, it’s an important day to relax with the people we love.