Beautiful table with thanksgiving food
Many Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving Around the World

by Hannah Benson

Thanksgiving is usually considered an American holiday, but, other cultures have celebrations that are the same equivalence as our beloved fall holiday.

Many cultures have holidays showing thanks for their year’s harvest. In America, we have our celebration on the fourth Thursday in November. People gather with family, eat turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.

“I am looking forward to seeing family and eating food… you eat during the correct times, and then in between them you do yard work to burn it off that way you can eat more,” sophomore Charles Benecci commented.

Freshman Kieran Boltz stated that she liked Thanksgiving because of “food, lots of food!” “I am excited about Thanksgiving, because it’s a time I am around family and friends and take a moment to relax and think about all the things I am thankful for in my life… We go around the table, once we sit down to eat, and say what we’re thankful for,” sophomore Megan Kuzneiwzki humbly observed.

It is always hard to choose a favorite food, Benecci and Boltz both replied that they liked everything. “I really like mashed potatoes,” Kuzneiwzki admitted.

In the British Isles, people celebrate “Lammas Day” which mean “loaf mass” [1]. There, it is celebrated on August first, at the beginning on the harvest season [2]. Farmers make loaves of bread with their first wheat harvest, and take the bread to church during a “special mass” to give thanks to God [1].

Jewish cultures have the harvest festival also. Families build a hut made of branches called a Sukkot, which means “booths” [1]. The Sukkot gives memory to, “temporary dwellings… (used) during periods of wandering” [3]. Families also eat their meals under the Sukkot during various times in the festival.

People in ancient civilizations even had festivals to show thanks for their harvest. The ancient Greeks and Romans had several day festivals celebrating their goddesses of corn. It involves music, food, and entertainment [1]. Ancient China also celebrated Chung Ch’ui, which took place during the full moon in the eighth month. Families eat moon cakes and stamp pictures of rabbits onto the top of them. This was because the Chinese saw the “rabbit in the moon,” opposed to the “man in the moon” [4].

All over the world, different cultures have their own festivities to show gratitude for their crop. But now at Thanksgiving, people are thankful for more than just the year’s harvest.

 

Sources:

[1] https://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/holidays-other/thanksgiving1.htm   

[2] http://www.projectbritain.com/calendar/August/lammas.html

[3] http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday5.htm

[4] http://www.holidays.net/thanksgiving/story.htm