Halloween has passed but the celebration does not end there. It’s almost time for Thanksgiving! It’s a special day where you can whip out those family recipes that have been passed down from generations, invite the family together for a splendid and authentic Thanksgiving dinner, and take your carving skills a notch higher. Thanksgiving traditions has its roots in the harvesting festival, and no, the United States isn’t the only country that has a celebration for this time of the year. The mid-autumn harvest festival is something that is practiced across cultures. Here are some other ways it is celebrated in other places around the world.
Erntedankfest In Germany
The harvest festival in Germany is celebrated on the first Sunday of October. Church services are mandatory for both Protestants and Catholics, and then, they are followed with some very noble cause. Giant baskets full of fruits, grains, and vegetables are carried to the church and then distributed among the poor. The bountiful harvest is for everyone, clearly! The evenings are beautiful as there are lantern parades which the kids — and kids at heart — love. Though mostly rural Germany celebrates it, there are fairs and exhibitions in the cities, too. The food is more or less like in the USA, so turkey and pumpkin pie are the staples along with sweet bread sprinkled with poppy seeds.
The Kadazan Festival In Malaysia
The staple food of Malaysia is rice, and the local people believe that, without rice, there is no life. Naturally, the rice harvesting festival has a huge significance in the culture of Malaysia. The story that goes around is that the creator Bamboozan sacrificed his daughter in order to avoid a famine. Her body was buried in pieces across the field, and that eventually became the seeds of paddy. Hence, the seeds are looked at as the symbols of life and creation. As expected, rice plays a big role in all this. The meal that is served consists of rice wine. There are buffalo races, agricultural shows, and of course, people don’t forget to thank their god for the food during Kadazan.
Harvest Moon Festival In China
This is also known as the mid-autumn festival in China. The festival is celebrated for three days when the moon is the brightest. The moon plays a big role in this festival and even the food served consists of half-moon cakes. Nowadays though, it is more about appreciating the moon and getting together for a family dinner. Sounds familiar? Well, aren’t all festivals have this common motive behind them? Festive lanterns are very popular here, too, especially for the kids.
Sukkot In Israel
The 15th day of Tishrei falls between late September and late October, and that is when Sukkot is celebrated. This is the day where the natives think about their 40-year travel through the desert after the end of slavery in Egypt. It is also known as Season Of Rejoicing in Israeli literature. The word Sukkot bears a significance, and it refers to the celebratory booths where the people lived when they were traveling back to their country. At the same time, it is also celebrated as the harvest festival.
Pongal In India
Harvesting is a big event in a country like India as agriculture plays an important part in this area of the world. The southern part calls the celebrations Pongal. The festivities are held in January for four days. The god of the clouds, Indra, is worshipped and a special kind of meal is prepared to kick off the festivities. Other parts of India also take part in them. Makar Sankranti in the north and Bihu and Kut in the east. The names are many, but the purpose is the same. Pongal is celebrated in Thailand, too.
Our culture’s festivals give meaning to our lives and make it more colorful in a world where there are constant setbacks for each of us. Make sure you join the festivities and have Thanksgiving with your family or at least your friends. Though we may come from different backgrounds, we should all come together to celebrate as one community. Never forget to show your gratitude for all that you are today or all that you have. Extend your kindness and love to others who might not be as privileged. This is the essence of humanity!