‘Thanksgivings’ around the world


Photo courtesy of Google Images

A typical Thanksgiving feast in America.

As Thanksgiving approaches, most families in the United States begin to prepare for the usual feast. People start dreaming of juicy turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, and perfectly crumbly apple pie.

Although most Americans grew up celebrating Thanksgiving, many other countries have special celebrations to show gratitude and mark the harvest season,
Korea: Chuseok

According to the Travel Channel Koreans celebrate this three-day-long holiday on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. Koreans return to their hometown to perform traditional rituals in the morning honoring their ancestors, to clean the area around the tombs of the deceased, and to offer food, drink, and crops to their loved ones. According to English.visitkorea.or.kr., “songpyeon,” a chewy rice cake, and “Japchae,” a mix of vegetables, meat, and glass noodles, are two foods that are commonly eaten on Chuseok. This holiday of remembrance is very special to Koreans.

China: August Moon Festival

The August Moon Festival is a 1,000-year-old tradition celebrated by the Chinese. According to travelchannel.com, the reason for this special holiday is to reflect on the bounty of the summer harvest, the fullness of the moon, and the myth of the immortal goddess, Chang O, who lives in the moon. The festival is often thought of as “Chinese Thanksgiving” because of the spirit of gratitude in the air and includes large amounts of food. During the celebration, millions of mooncakes are given as gifts, and these flaky and round pastries definitely don’t disappoint.

Nigeria and Ghana: The Yam Festival

This rarely-held festival takes place when the yam harvest is ripe, usually during August or September at the end of the rainy season. The festival includes a big feast. According to usnews.com in Ghana, a boy is chosen to lead a parade while holding the best yams that were harvested, and in Nigeria, the celebration includes public wrestling matches and music.

India: Pongal

Pongal, a 4-day long festival, is celebrated January 12th through the 15th and marks the beginning of the end of the winter season in India. According to travelchannel.com, Surya Pongal, the second day, is the most important day of the festival. During Surya Pongal, a ritual takes place that includes people throwing their old clothes into a fire, having an oil massage, and then dressing in new clothes to honor the Suyra, the Hindu sun god. Throughout the whole festival, cattle are bathed and then dressed. They are also served Pongal (rice boiled milk), and

Germany\; Erntedankfest:

Erntedankfest, which translates to “harvest thanksgiving” is most commonly celebrated by rural, religious groups and is a chance for families to honor their harvest. According to toallthatinteresting.com, the festival is often practiced in Protestant churches, and in bigger cities in Germany, The Erntedankfest service is followed by a parade and the presentation of the Harvest Crown. According to german-way.com, the crown is given to the harvest queen as a special event at the festival. The festival dates vary across the country of Germany. Typically Erntedankfest is celebrated in mid-September or October.

Whether you’re in China or Nigeria, you’re bound to have a blast attending one of these celebrations. Each one is a completely different celebration with its own set of special traditions, but they all have the same purpose\; taking time to reflect and give thanks for what we have.