Many different Thanksgiving traditions

When New England was established, the pilgrim colony at Plymouth Rock, Mass. celebrated the first Thanksgiving (although history may indicate the earliest Thanksgiving actually may have been celebrated almost 75 years earlier).
That first Thanksgiving often is remembered for the sharing of food, as well as the opportunities the new land had brought.
Without the food from the natives of the area, it’s likely the colony would not have survived that first year as successfully as it did.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated primarily in North America by Canadians and Americans. Here in Canada, Thanksgiving Day falls on the second Monday of October. South of the border, it’s celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
I didn’t know about other countries’ Thanksgiving celebrations until Adam, my youngest son who now lives in South Korea, told me that Koreans celebrated Chuseok last weekend.
It also is known as a day of togetherness, when families come together, share special foods, and visit.
This also includes a visit to cemeteries to thank their ancestors for the bounty of the land and the successful harvest.
The Chinese Thanksgiving is called the August Moon Festival and is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Family and friends send each other moon cakes as a form of giving thanks.
Legend has it that the moon is brightest on that day.
The Vietnamese have a similar celebration at the same time, but call it the Tet-Trung Thu (also known as the Children’s Festival). The activities of the day are mainly for children and education.
Before the sun rises, parents give their children lanterns so they can participate in the candlelit lantern procession. The lanterns represent brightness while the procession represents success.
Their traditions are similar to those of North America. Family feasting is traditional to our Thanksgiving and the prayers of thankfulness are shared in churches across both countries.
Turkey has been the traditional meal since the mid-1800s and pumpkin pie is the traditional dessert.
If we trace history farther back, the Greeks called their harvest festival Thesmoshporia, which honoured the goddess of grains, Demeter, each autumn. The Romans had their Thanksgiving harvest festival that honoured the goddess of corn, Ceres.
Other countries around the world have a celebration of Thanksgiving. In the northern hemisphere, the celebrations take place in the months of September and October. In the southern hemisphere, the celebration takes place in the months of May and April.
Even though cultures celebrate Thanksgiving in different methods and focus on different traditions, cultures do give thanks for the bounty of the harvest and choose to celebrate their own unique thanksgivings with family.
I hope you have a good Thanksgiving this weekend.

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