Thanksgiving Celebrations Outside The US

As you most likely already know, just as with all the other American traditions, Thanksgiving is celebrated all around the world. We actually tend to think that this is a 100% unique US holiday. That is not actually the case. In fact, there are many harvest time traditions and celebrations that appear all around the world.

One of the most known traditions dates back to ancient Greek. That was when there was a 3 day festival that appeared in order to honor the grains and corn goddess, Demeter. One similar celebration honoured Ceres, the equal goddess for Romans. Roman celebrations included parades, feasts similar to Thanksgiving, music, sports and games. You may want to know that cornucopia, a prominent symbol of Thanksgiving, dates back to these two cultures.

In ancient China we had a special harvest festival that was named Chung Ch’ui. It was harvesting harvest moon. During celebrations, families gathered for feasts including the moon cakes, which are round yellow cakes.

Thanksgiving Celebrations Outside The US

When we look at Jewish cultures, the similar Thanksgiving celebrations were held through the Sukkot harvest festival. Festivals in this culture date back around 3,000 years now. A branches hut named Sukkot is built. A Jewish family eats meals right under this Sukkot for a period of 8 days.

Ancient Egyptians were holding harvest celebrations honouring Min, god of fertility and vegetation. It is common to see sports, music and parades included in festivities.

It is not only the ancient cultures that celebrated harvest festivals. We have the main forerunner of Thanksgiving in Lammas Day, which is celebrated in British Isles. This is when everyone goes to church with a bread loaf coming from their very first harvest of wheat. Churches bless bread and thank for the harvest that appeared in that year.

Related Article:  Thanksgiving Games for Children

We also have a direct relation between Thanksgiving and the Puritan practice of having individual thanksgiving days arranged. Those were religious occasions that usually came after great difficulty. Puritans praised God and the fact that He helped during hardships. While the American Thanksgiving is not religious in nature, there is a similarity in the presence of gratitude.