Chelsey Phillips is the Digital Marketing Specialist at Whip Mix where she oversees digital and online marketing. She supports Whip Mix by sharing educational resources, posting to social media sites, and maintaining online presence.
Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family, giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and is traditionally celebrated by sharing a feast with friends and family. The first record of Thanksgiving was in 1621, but national celebrations did not start until 1789. Although Whip Mix celebrates American Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is not solely an American holiday. As a global business, Whip Mix have taken a look at how other Countries around the world choose to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Canada: Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October and was first celebrated in 1578. It is traditionally similar to the United States celebrated by a feast with friends and family.
Barbados: Known as The Crop Over festival, Thanksgiving begins in June and is a three-week long celebration for the end of the sugar cane harvesting season. Beginning with a ceremonial delivery of the last canes, it culminates with the Grand Kadooment parade. The Crop Over festivities have garnered worldwide attention and tourists from all over the world attend the event.
Brazil: Thanksgiving is the Dia de Ação de Graças which translates to “a day of thanksgiving.” This is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and dates back to 1949. A celebration of a good harvest throughout the year the day starts with a morning church service, festivities follow throughout the day including a feast with friends and family.
Germany, Austria, and Switzerland: Here Thanksgiving is known as Erntedankfest, translated as “harvest festival of thanks.” There isn’t an officially designated date the holiday is celebrated, so festivity vary from mid-September through October. Erntedankfest is celebrated with a church service followed by the presentation of the Erntekrone (“harvest crown”) and a feast.
United Kingdom: The nearest to Thanksgiving is the Harvest Festival. There isn’t an officially designated date the holiday is celebrated, so festivity dates vary during September and October. The festival is a celebration of the year’s harvest of food grown on the land and celebrated with church services and a feast featuring the seasons produce.
The Netherlands: Similar to the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. When English settlers travelled to the new world on the Mayflower, there were settlers from the Dutch city Leiden. The holiday is celebrated in Leiden with a celebratory church service for the successful voyage of their ancestors to America.
Israel: Known as Sukkot or the Feast of the Tabernacles, the Thanksgiving celebration lasts for seven days and begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which is typically in September or October. During the seven days, special prayers and psalms are read and all food is eaten in a sukkah, an open ceiling wooden booth. The sukkahs commemorate the temporary dwellings Jewish people developed on their journey to Israel.
South India: Celebrates Thanksgiving as Pongal, a four-day celebration. On Day 1, Bhogi Pongal, honours Indra, the King of the gods, with harvest offerings. Day 2, Surya Pongal, honours the Sun God with sarkkarai pongal and sugarcane sticks. Day 3, Mattu Pongal, cowherds and shepherds pay thanks to the animals by painting and decorating the animals. Day 4, Kaanum Pongal, is a celebration with family to give thanks for a successful harvest.
China: Thanksgiving is known as “Chung Chiu” Moon Festival. The festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar cycle of the year. During the holiday, families come together for a three-day feast featuring mooncakes with a yolk representing the full moon. Family and friends exchange mooncakes as a sign of peace and unity.
Japan: Thanksgiving is known as Kinro Kansha no Hi which translates to “Labour Thanksgiving Day.” The holiday is celebrated on November 23rd and has been celebrated since the Meiji Era (1868-1912). The festivity began as a celebration of harvest, but in 1948 transitioned to a celebration honouring workers. Rather than celebrating with food, the Japanese celebrate with labour organizations and festivals celebrating the environment, peace, and human rights.
Malaysia: Thanksgiving is known as the Kaamatan Harvest Festival or the Kadazan Harvest. The festival is celebrated throughout May and culminates with a two-day public holiday throughout the country. The festivities centre around rice and giving thanks to the rice God Semangat for the bountiful harvest.
Ghana: Known as the Homowo festival, which translates to “hooting at hunger,” or the Yam festival, Thanksgiving here begins in August and is centred around the harvest season. Ghanaians gather to celebrate the endurance of their ancestors during the famine centuries ago. The celebration begins with a ceremony honouring the deceased and is celebrated with special yam dishes and kpekpele, a mashed corn meal with palm oil.
Giving thanks around the world may look different, but as humans, we are all connected through giving thanks. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, know that we at Whip Mix are thankful for YOU, our valued friends from all over the world.
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