By: Natalie Shomali, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
As many know, the annual celebration of Thanksgiving originated in America. This is celebrated in the US for everyone to give thanks for all that they have. Normally, families or friends gather for a large meal on the fourth Thursday of November. This meal usually consists of turkey, vegetables, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, etc. However, many other countries participate in the festivities of this American holiday in many different ways.
One of these countries is Canada. This neighboring country to the U.S. shares many of the same traditions, including Thanksgiving. Due to its close proximity to America, the yearly traditions of the Americans tended to spread throughout the years. This holiday is celebrated in Canada for Canadians to appreciate the fruits of a successful harvest. This differs from the American holiday since the Thanksgiving meal takes place on Monday, rather than Thursday.
On the same date as Canada, the country of Germany celebrates their unique Thanksgiving that they call Erntedankfest, meaning harvest festival. This celebration is usually held in a church, with crops, fruit, and cereals ordered decoratively. This festival is celebrated in order to thank God for the harvest and for the blessing of rest after times of hard work.
The country of Liberia was originally founded by freed American slaves, causing major parts of its culture to be influenced by the U.S. Many American traditions and holidays, including Thanksgiving, are now widely celebrated around many West African nations. However, the traditions differ as the holiday is celebrated on the first Thursday of November, rather than the fourth. The meals also consist of chicken, green bean casserole, and mashed cassavas.
Thanksgiving, or Gan’en Jie, (thanks for grace holiday,) is also celebrated annually in China, on around the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. This holiday normally falls from the end of September to the start of October, when the moon is bright and full. It is a way to express thankfulness for the changing of the seasons and to celebrate the fall harvest. In China, many use this time to have a large Western meal and to thank their family, friends, colleagues, teachers, or bosses.
Other countries that celebrate this holiday are Brazil, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Grenada, Saint Lucia, The Netherlands, South India, etc.