Thanksgiving, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November (24th in 2016) is the ultimate family tradition – we sit down around the table, enjoy each other’s company, eat delicious turkey and share what we are thankful for this year. Many of us know the story of Thanksgiving like the back of our hand – the pilgrims and the Native Americans sitting down to share a meal with each other. However, how many of us know about the similar Thanksgiving traditions from around the world? Fortunately, language learning app Babbel (www.babbel.com) have put together a list, allowing you to amaze your family with fascinating trivia this Thanksgiving.
The Germans celebrate their harvest in either September or October. The celebration begins with a sermon, which is followed by a procession, at the end of which the Ernteknigin (Queen of Harvest) is presented with her crown. Afterwards, there is plenty of music, dancing and the eating of fruits and vegetables from the harvest. While the celebrations aren’t as family-focused as the ones in the States, the leftover food is given away to those in need. The Germans also don’t favor turkey, instead opting for chicken, which is especially chosen and fattened up before the feast.
Brazil: Day of Thanksgivings
Up until 1949, Brazil held a religious celebration in thanks for the harvest that was received that year. Once the ambassador of Brazil visited the United States, he became so inspired that the festival was changed to Dia de Ao de Graas – a day of Thanksgivings. Celebrated on the same day as the Thanksgiving in the States, not all Brazilians are able to participate in the celebrations, as it isn’t an officially recognized holiday. Those that do celebrate the event will eat turkey and stuffing, along with pumpkin pie and sweet or mashed potatoes and for them, the fundamental part of the day is being with family and friends.
Canada: Canadian Thanksgiving
Despite the close proximity of Canada and the U.S., the origins of the holiday are completely different – the Canadian celebrations began in 1872, when they celebrated King Edward VII’s recovery from an illness (a holiday that wasn’t made official until 1957!) The celebrations are normally held on Sunday, with a big meal of turkey, surrounded by family and accompanied by parades.
Liberia: Liberian Thanksgiving
As Liberia was founded in the 19th century by freed slaves from the United States, it may not come as a surprise that a Liberian Thanksgiving shares similar traditions as those in the United States. Celebrated on the same day, there are common themes of thanksgiving and celebration. The main difference lies in the food – Liberians eat cassavas instead of potatoes and add spices to make the meat more flavorful.
Vietnam: Têt-Trung-Thu Festival
Celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar cycle – which usually falls at the end of September or the start of October, and always during the full moon, the Vietnamese gather to give thanks and celebrate their families. The festival coincides with the end of harvest, and folklore states that because the parents were so busy working in the months ahead, the festival was started as a way to show appreciation to the children, showering them with love and holding a candlelit procession at dawn.