Gratitude Around The Globe: 5 Thanksgiving Traditions From Around The World
While Thanksgiving is considered an American holiday, other countries have celebrations to give thanks. While they may not be in November or have a traditional turkey meal, they are all centered around coming together with a fruitful harvest and to count the past year’s blessings. Learn more about traditions and customs from around the world.
Did you know that the Chinese have been celebrating Thanksgiving for 2,500 years? It’s observed in mid-Autumn and it’s a day for giving thanks and gratitude for a good harvest. Foods eaten for this occasion include moon cakes filled with sesame seeds, ground lotus seeds, and duck eggs.
The Japanese observe Labor Thanksgiving Day on November 23. The roots of the event come from harvest rituals and they celebrate the labor that goes into a fruitful harvest. In 1948, the holiday was formalized by the country’s post-WW11 government as a way to celebrate labor rights more broadly.
Instead of Thanksgiving, Germany celebrates Erntedankfest which marks a bountiful fall harvest. There is dancing, music, and a crown is presented to a harvest king and queen who are paraded through town. It’s more of a religious occasion than anything else and is usually marked by a church service.
Thankgiving was introduced into The Netherlands by pilgrims who lived in Leiden before immigrating to England. The major Thanksgiving celebration still takes place in the Leiden church that the pilgrims frequented. It loosely resembles American Thanksgiving but is mostly celebrated in public venues. In fact, Amsterdam has put together a celebration guide for homesick Americans living there.
National Thanksgiving Day in Liberia has an American connection since the country was founded by 19th century freed American slaves who brought the tradition with them. The holiday has adapted to include a tropical African flavor with dishes like roasted chicken and mashed cassava. The occasion celebrates freedom where revelers gather for food, music, and dancing.
More in Impact
George H.W. Bush’s Service Dog Sully To Take On New Mission Helping More Vets
We were all touched by Jim McGrath’s photo of Sully, George H. W. Bush’s service dog, lying in front of the...December 8, 2018
Waitress Pays Kind Gesture To Grieving Customers, And They Pay It Forward In The Sweetest way
A waitress at a local diner frequently served a couple and their newborn baby in the establishment. When she noticed the...December 6, 2018
How This Mother-Of-Four Made A Career Of Being The ‘Bicycle Whisperer’
You know the expression, “It’s like riding a bicycle!” Well, for some of us, learning how to ride a bicycle wasn’t...December 3, 2018
Try These Jokes The Next Time You Need An IRL Comeback
Have you ever been insulted or offended by someone, but you don’t come up with the perfect clapback until hours after...December 2, 2018
For 33 Years, This Man Has Been Hosting Free Thanksgiving Dinner For Strangers
Thirty-three years ago, one man in Massachusetts was getting ready to suffer through a quiet and lonely Thanksgiving. Instead, he decided...November 30, 2018
The Origins Of ‘Movember’ And The Good Cause Behind The Facial Hair Challenge
You’ve probably noticed some your male friends and co-workers posting to social media about their attempts to grow mustaches and beards...November 28, 2018
U.S. Marine Saves A Life In Afghanistan, Not Knowing Someday He’d Be Saved In Return
U.S. Marine Craig Grossi was deployed to the ongoing war in Afghanistan, and soon found himself in the course of duty...November 28, 2018
Marines Bust A Move In Hilarious ‘Call Me Maybe’ Spoof, And We Have To Salute Them
Despite requiring constant vigilance while beleaguered by the dangers of war, members of the military still understand the value of humor...November 25, 2018
Newborn Twin Brothers Comfort Each Other Right After Their Birth In Heartwarming Video
Talk about brotherly love! These newborn twins shared the womb for months and clearly already have an unbreakable bond. After their...November 25, 2018