The idea behind Thanksgiving Day celebration, held with a considerable enthusiasm in every nook and corner of the United States, is similar to the August Moon Festival in China, Tet Trung Thu in Vietnam, Succoth in Jew, Kwanzaa in Africa, Pongal in India and Chusok in Korea. The list is unending. The only difference in the fiestas is date, rites and customs but the reason behind it remains the same – to express gratitude to God for a rich fruitful harvest.
Thanksgiving observation in China
The Chinese people celebrate August Moon festival that falls on the 15th day of 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Chinese believe that the moon is roundest and brightest on this day. Below the divine moonlight, lovers speak out their heart to each other. It is also well-known as Women Festival. Usually women are considered similes to warm and compassionate merits and have the gift of fertility, just like Mother Earth. Unlike the traditional pumpkin pie, the Chinese delicacies consist of moon-cake. Friends and families convey their respect to each other by making and giving a moon cake.
Thanksgiving tradition in Rome
The Roman harvest festival called Cerelia was celebrated in the honor of the goddess Ceres (Goddess of Corn). Their festival began on October 4th and it was a convention to first produced fruits, grains and animals to the Goddess. Music, parades and games extended the glee of the ceremony.
The Brazilian thanksgiving is quite contemporary compared to American thanksgiving. When the Ambassador of Brazil visited U.S. at the invitation of National Cathedral of Washington, D.C., he was captivated by the concept and brought it to his homeland. In the southern Brazil, it is a kind of thankfulness to Almighty for the huge harvest. Though acclaimed for its Carnival celebrations they cannot be undermined in other festivities.
Korean celebrate the holiday known as Chu-Sok meaning “fall evening”on the 15th day of August every year. It begins on the night of 14th and continues for three days. Koreans make a special dish called ‘Songpyon’ exclusive for that occasion made of rice, beans, sesame seeds and chestnuts. Before having the food, the family gathers beneath the moonlight, in commemoration of their ancestors and forefathers. The children dress in long-prescribed dress dancing in circle with an inherent desire of their blessing.
In French-speaking countries
In France the Thanksgiving Day is not observed – the only thing most French people know about the holiday is that it’s a day where Americans eat turkeys. How come? The explanation roots in history.
After their arrival in America, pilgrims quickly confronted a difficulty – their food provisions were getting smaller and smaller. So they decided to start growing plants. When the first harvest came in 1621, and the problem was partially resolved, the incomers decided to observe the day. Thus was born Thanksgiving. Considering the origin of the holiday, its nonexistence in France makes complete sense. That’s also why there is no A French word for the Thanksgiving. We use the English word instead.
However, the Thanksgiving Day is commonly celebrated by Canadians and it is always nice to say “Je voudrais lui adresser mes remerciements – I would like to send him/her my thanks,” “Mille mercis” or “merci mille fois” – a thousand thanks or “Merci du fond du coeur” – thank you from the bottom of my heart to your Canadians friends, clients or colleagues, even if you are not able to join them for a holiday meal.
We probably missed a lot of countries where the similar to the Thanksgiving tradition is alive. Therefore, we’ll be thankful if you take a minute and share with us how the day is celebrated in your country, region or commune.
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