Thanksgiving traditions abound

This coming Monday, families across Canada will celebrate Thanksgiving.
By the second Monday of October, most crops already are harvested and are stored. The corn, wheat, oats, and barley have been tilled back into the ground.
The last of the squash and pumpkins have been taken in, the onions have been dried to have firm skins, and potatoes have been dug, as have the carrots, parsnips, and turnips.
South of us, much of the corn across southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois is just beginning to be harvested. Soybeans are still green in many fields.
The orchards along Georgian Bay, meanwhile, are just being picked, and the sweet and tartness of those apples will be found in the district with the arrival of trucks that had been carrying cattle south to the farms of Gray and Bruce counties.
We can rejoice as the golden leaves plummet from the trees across our communities. They have been a dazzling display of colour.
All of those harvested vegetables and fruits will find their way to dinner tables. Most families will choose to roast a stuffed turkey, and the grand meal likely will include fresh vegetables from local gardens.
The farmers’ market will be packed with cabbage, pies, pie pumpkins, assorted squash, and fresh breads and rolls.
Come Sunday and Monday, if you were to walk into any home, you would encounter the lofting smells of nutmeg, cinnamon, sage, thyme, parsley, ginger, and pepper.
Traditions of Thanksgiving have been added from other cultures, including wild rice, cabbage rolls, and perogies.
Apple, blueberry, lemon, and pumpkin pies will make appearances. Vanilla ice cream, fresh-whipped cream, and cheeses will accompany the pies.
The feast will be prepared. Friends, family, and neighbours will arrive in our homes to enjoy the wonderful smells and tastes of this special holiday marking the conclusion of the harvest season in our area.
Near the end of November, our American friends will have their own Thanksgiving celebration, enjoying many of the same wonderful foods that we enjoy. Collard greens, grits, and other treats will be found on their menus.
Koreans already have celebrated Chuseok that occurs at the equinox. It, too, is a celebration of Thanksgiving and traditional meals are served.
China, at a similar time, will celebrate at the Moon Festival. The traditional food is the “Moon Cake.”
Other countries around the world have their own Thanksgiving celebration.
Each has its own traditions but each gives thanks for a successful harvest.

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