Thanksgiving Around the World!

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Alexandria Anderson, A&E Editor

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It is eight o’clock on Thanksgiving evening. You have just finished devouring every last crumb of pumpkin pie, sufficiently placing yourself into an inescapable food coma. You feel the weight of the day’s meal settling in your stomach as you slowly fall asleep to the sound of your loud extended family in the background.

At one point or another, we have all been in this situation during our Thanksgiving celebrations. But how do other countries around the world put their own spin on the traditional American Thanksgiving?

During mid-autumn, the Chinese celebrate their annual Harvest Moon Festival, consisting of a ceremony and banquet to show their appreciation for the harvest moon. The moon cake, a typical food served at these ceremonies, acts as an offering to wish prosperity on others during the time of abundance, their round shape also representing the unity of family. Variations on the festival include a lighting of lanterns along with the day’s celebrations.

In Rome the celebrations continue with Cerelia. This harvest festival is in honor of Ceres, Roman goddess of grain and agriculture. Typically celebrated on Oct. 4, the festivities include offerings of grain and fruit to Ceres, as well as parades and a typical Thanksgiving feast.

Canadians bask in the joys of a well-prepared Thanksgiving meal on the second Monday of Oct., which just happens to be Columbus Day in the United States. Canada’s Thanksgiving traditions are most similar to that of America, originating as a combination of Native American traditions and those brought over by European settlers. A cornucopia serves as a symbol of the celebrations, its name derived from the Latin words cornu copiae, meaning horn of plenty.

Lasting through a majority of the month of March, Argentina hosts its annual Grape Harvest Festival. Although it strays the most from the traditional American Thanksgiving, it is still an integral part of Argentine culture to celebrate the harvesting of grapes. The festival includes the Blessing of the Fruit, a multitude of night parades and a spectacular show of dance and light in the city of Mendoza.

So as you pile your plate on Thanksgiving Day with that succulent turkey and warm pumpkin pie, remember to leave some room for the other Thanksgiving festivals around the world. Your plate will not stay empty for long!

 

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