What Countries Celebrate Thanksgiving? | Kidadl

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What Countries Celebrate Thanksgiving?

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Thanksgiving is commemorated on various dates in many countries around the world.

People congregate and celebrate Thanksgiving Day, which commonly includes eating foods like turkey, pumpkin pie, and cranberries. Some people go to football games and parades.

Many people look forward to the Thanksgiving holiday, which takes place in November in the United States. This holiday is connected with turkey and deep contemplation about what people are grateful for. Thanksgiving day is followed by a harvest feast that was first held by Plymouth pilgrims in 1621.

Before it became an official holiday, George Washington, the then president, declared November 26, 1789, to be a day of 'public thanksgiving and prayer'. Later, President Abraham Lincoln declared November's final Thursday as a national holiday.

On the other hand, Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October every year. This came into existence after the parliament in Canada decided it. Hence Thanksgiving in Canada is observed on a Monday. But most families are likely to celebrate it on a Saturday or Sunday. Families get together on this day and feast together.

Keep reading this article to find more enlightening facts on Thanksgiving, who celebrates it, its history, and much more.

History Of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a long weekend in most parts of the world including Canada, the United States of America, Liberia, Grenada, and Saint Lucia. Similar holiday events are observed in Germany and Japan. Previously, this harvest Thanksgiving festival was celebrated as a military victory, safe travel, or a bountiful harvest festival in Canada and New England. In Canada, Thanksgiving began in 1578 when Martin Frobisher hosted a party to show thankfulness for their safe return from a perilous journey across the sea.

The Thanksgiving holiday began with church services and evolved into a feast and festivities. After their first plentiful harvest, Americans named this harvest festival celebration 'First Thanksgiving'. This festival was held in the year 1621 and the vacation lasted five days. Settlers remembered their first Thanksgiving and returned two years later to share their dinner with the Wampanoag, an American tribe. During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, established Thanksgiving to be a national holiday in 1863.

Thanksgiving Rituals

On the fourth Thursday of November, many Americans take part in a celebration of Thanksgiving in the United States of America. There is no specific ceremony that must be performed on Thanksgiving. Every family celebrates in their own unique way. The most common feast that most of them will have on their plate is turkey.

Because it is a long weekend, people spend time with their families and loved ones on Thanksgiving. Many like to travel with their loved ones and spend their vacation with them. Thanksgiving is the busiest weekend for flight travel. Even though they share some comparable traditions, Canadian Thanksgiving is held on the second Monday of October. On Thanksgiving Day, vegetarian families may serve a vegetarian turkey made from tofu rather than a real one. Salads, squash, fruits, and vegetables are eaten by most families.

In some families, breaking the turkey's wishbone that is attached to breast meat in the turkey's chest is also a celebration ritual. Once the meat is taken out from that area, the wishbone can become dry or brittle and be easily snapped. People believe this creates good fortune and they test their luck by pulling on the bone from both sides. The one with the largest side is luckier and their wish comes true. On this Thanksgiving Day, many people watch Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, which features marching bands, balloons, music, and performances in practically every city. The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in 1924.

Reasons For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is an important event in which all families and loved ones gather. Thanksgiving was first observed in 1621 when English settlers celebrated their first Thanksgiving to celebrate the previous year's bountiful harvest.

In 1602 a party of people set out on a 65 day trip across the Atlantic Ocean. Half of the passengers on that journey died as a result of the cold weather and malnutrition. Despite the loss, they completed their journey to Plymouth. When they arrived at their destination, all pilgrims congregated and exchanged greetings on Thanksgiving. 

This celebration is known as Erntedankfest in Germany, and it takes place on the first Sunday of October. Singing, music, and a parade take place to commemorate it. On this day, the harvest crown will be given to queen Erntedankfest. On January 31, 1957, Canada's governor-general, Vincent Massey, made Thanksgiving a federal holiday, proclaiming that it should be observed on the second Monday in October. Thanksgiving is a general holiday in Grenada observed on October 25 of each year. The general holiday commemorates the anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983.

In Korea, this celebration is known as Chuseok. It is commemorated in September every year. It is one of the most important holidays, with all families coming together to honor or pay respects to their ancestors. Songpyeon is the main feast offered in Korea, and it is produced with rice powder and fillings of chestnuts, beans, and other ingredients.

Thanksgiving is a historical day on which we offer thanks and respect to our ancestors.

Fun Facts About Countries That Celebrate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a long weekend holiday filled with family gatherings and turkey dinners. As a result of the fact that November has five Thursdays, Congress had to make a decision in 1941 to declare that the fourth Thursday would be honored as Thanksgiving Day in order to avoid confusion.

Americans consume around 4500 calories and 8.07 oz (229 g) of fat on Thanksgiving Day!

During the Thanksgiving holiday, Americans buy around 250 million lb (11.3 million kg) of potatoes and 77 million lbs (34.9 million kg) of ham.

The well-known lullaby 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' was written by Sarah Josepha. Sarah Josepha is also known as the 'Mother of Thanksgiving' for helping make the day a holiday. Even though the song Jingle Bells was composed for the Thanksgiving celebration, it became a Christmas carol.

As previously mentioned, Thanksgiving celebrations are observed on various occasions during the year depending on the country and are considered a big deal by most countries. However, there are no such celebrations in England.

Germany celebrates Thanksgiving in early October, Japan observes Labor Thanksgiving Day on November 23, Liberia on the first Thursday of November, and Grenada on October 25. Thanksgiving is celebrated in Korea in late September or early October and Canadian Thanksgiving is in October.

There are three towns in America named after the turkey; they are located in Louisiana, Texas, and North Carolina.

Since the era of George H.W. Bush in 1989, every president has granted a turkey pardon for Thanksgiving. Every year since then, a turkey has been pardoned and taken to Disneyland to live out its life. On Thanksgiving, turkeys are given the honor of leading the Disneyland Parade.

Minnesota is the state that sells the most turkeys and earns more than $3 billion in turkey sales!

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

Sridevi's passion for writing has allowed her to explore different writing domains, and she has written various articles on kids, families, animals, celebrities, technology, and marketing domains. She has done her Masters in Clinical Research from Manipal University and PG Diploma in Journalism From Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. She has written numerous articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories, which have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. She is fluent in four languages and likes to spend her spare time with family and friends. She loves to read, travel, cook, paint, and listen to music.

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