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Thanksgiving Traditions Around the World

Thanksgiving is primarily an American and Canadian holiday, but gratitude and harvest celebrations are common in many cultures around the world. It may be known by different names, the customs and traditions may vary, and the dates as well may differ, but in essence, it is a harvest festival, and hence celebrated across the world by different countries.Here are some Thanksgiving traditions and celebrations from different countries:

This is How Thanksgiving is Celebrated Around the World

United States: Thanksgiving in the United States is typically celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It involves a large meal with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Many families gather for this meal and take the opportunity to express gratitude. Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States. It is a day to give thanks for the harvest, family, and friends. Many families also attend church services or parades on Thanksgiving Day. Read More ...

Canada: Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Like in the United States, it involves a feast with turkey and other traditional dishes. Canadians give thanks for a bountiful harvest and the blessings of the past year. The holiday has similar origins to the American Thanksgiving, but it also commemorates the arrival of English settlers in Newfoundland in 1578. The traditional Canadian Thanksgiving meal is similar to the American Thanksgiving meal, but some families also include dishes like tourtière (a French-Canadian meat pie) and butter tarts. Read More ...

Liberia: Thanksgiving in Liberia is celebrated on the first Thursday in November. It has roots in American history, as Liberia was founded by freed American slaves. The holiday includes church services, parades, and feasting. The holiday was introduced to Liberia by American settlers in the 19th century. The traditional Liberian Thanksgiving meal includes roasted chicken, mashed cassava, and collard greens. Many families also attend church services and parades on Thanksgiving Day.

Grenada: Grenada celebrates Thanksgiving on October 25th. This holiday is a mix of religious and cultural elements, with church services and a big feast.

Germany: Erntedankfest is a German harvest festival celebrated in late September or early October. It involves church services, parades, and feasts. People decorate churches and homes with fruits, vegetables, flowers and grains.
Germany celebrates Erntedankfest (Harvest Festival) mostly on the first Sunday of October. It is a religious holiday that gives thanks for the harvest and for God's bounty. The traditional Erntedankfest meal includes roasted duck or goose, red cabbage, and dumplings.

Japan: Labor Thanksgiving Day, known as Kinrō Kansha no Hi, is a Japanese national holiday celebrated on November 23rd. It is not about a harvest feast but a day to give thanks for labor and productivity. People express gratitude for each other's work and contributions. Japan celebrates Kinrō Kansha no Hi (Labor Thanksgiving Day) on November 23. It is a national holiday that gives thanks to workers for their contributions to society. The traditional Kinrō Kansha no Hi meal includes sushi, sashimi, and tempura. Many families also visit temples and shrines on Labor Thanksgiving Day.

China: The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a Chinese holiday that falls in September or October. Families come together to celebrate with mooncakes, a special pastry, and give thanks for the harvest and family unity. Read More ...

Israel: Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, is a Jewish holiday that falls in September or October. It involves building temporary huts (sukkah) and giving thanks for the harvest and the protection of God during the Exodus.

Ghana: The Homowo festival in Ghana is a harvest festival celebrated by the Ga people. It involves traditional dances, songs, and sharing food with family and friends, giving thanks for a good harvest.

South Korea: Chuseok, the Korean harvest festival, is celebrated in August or September. Families gather, pay respects to ancestors, and share traditional foods like songpyeon (rice cakes). Read More ...

India: In different regions of India, various harvest festivals are celebrated, such as Pongal in the south and Baisakhi in the north. These festivals involve feasting, dancing, and expressing gratitude for a successful harvest. For example, India celebrates Pongal in mid-January. It is a four-day harvest festival that gives thanks for the sun, rain, and earth. The traditional Pongal meal includes rice, sugarcane, and turmeric. Many families also decorate their homes and temples with flowers and leaves. Read More ...

To know how Thanksgiving is celebrated around the world in 22 different countries, with its different traditions, visit the links below:

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