Giving Thanks Around the World

By: Caroline Jobson

Whether your family chooses to celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional sense or opts for a less conventional method, one truth is evident: regardless of the culture or custom, we show our gratitude with good food and good company. While Thanksgiving is mostly found in the United States and Canada, below are a few examples of fall festivals that celebrate the bountiful harvest of fall.

Canadian Thanksgiving

While the quintessential Thanksgiving dinner in the United States typically features a roast turkey and a variety of side dishes, our neighbors up north, Canadians, do things slightly differently. In addition to having Thanksgiving one month earlier, specifically the second Monday in October, Canadians do not consider this a national holiday. Finally, Canadians enjoy a three day weekend, eating good food in good company. In terms of the Thanksgiving meal, where Americans use sugar to sweeten a dish, Canadians often opt for maple syrup.

Roman Harvest Festival

While the Roman harvest festival, or Cerelia, isn’t quite Thanksgiving, both of these holidays celebrate the bounty of fruits and vegetables of Fall. With music and parades to accompany this festival, this celebration which begins on October 4th highlights the ancient deity Ceres, the goddess of corn.

Brazilian Thanksgiving

Surprisingly similar to the American Thanksgiving, the Brazilian rendition came about after an Ambassador of Brazil decided to bring this tradition back to his own country after enjoying a Thanksgiving meal at the National Cathedral of Washington D.C. Nonetheless, Brazilians mark this holiday as a day of gratitude, thanking nature for its bountiful harvest.

Works Cited: http://www.thanksgiving.org.uk/around-the-world.html