Thanksgiving Traditions Around the World

In the United States, Thanksgiving is normally celebrated by eating turkey and other delicious food, watching football, and just spending time with family or friends. But, other countries celebrate the holiday in their own way.

Canada’s Thanksgiving celebrations actually began before America’s. It started when Loyalists came to Canada during the Revolutionary War and introduced turkey and other customs that are included in the typical American Thanksgiving celebration. In Canada today, most of their traditions look very similar to ours like eating turkey and watching football. 

In Germany, the equivalent to Thanksgiving is Erntedankfest, which means Harvest Festival. Erntedankfest is usually celebrated on the first Sunday in October. During a normal celebration, a harvest crown called Erntekrone may be carried to the church. It is made of grains, fruits, and flowers.

In Japan, they celebrate a national holiday called Kinrō Kansha No Hi, which means Labor Thanksgiving Day. The origins of this day are traced back more than two thousand  years. It is oriented around giving thanks for workers’ rights and for citizens to give thanks to one another for all the work they did the past year. This holiday is celebrated in different ways throughout the country. 

In Vietnam, there is a holiday celebration to celebrate the children. It is called Têt-Trung-Thu Festival known also as the Mid- Autumn Moon Festival. During this festival, children light lanterns and perform what they call lion dances. In Vietnam, this is the second most important holiday tradition. 

In the southern state of India, a four-day harvest festival called Pongal is celebrated. It is one of the most important Hindu festivals of the year. During this festival, they give thanks to nature. They do this by honoring their gods and preparing a special dish that is made during Pongal. This dish is rice boiled in milk. 

Some of these countries may not celebrate Thanksgiving in the way that you would normally think of it as. But, the one thing all of these countries have in common is they are all celebrating things they are grateful for. This Thanksgiving, while eating all the delicious food, make sure to remember the roots behind Thanksgiving and think about things in your life that you are thankful for.

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