As children we are told that Thanksgiving is an American holiday to celebrate the friendships formed between the pilgrims and the native americans. Students put together plays filled with crayon colored leafs and plastic pilgrims hats for their parents and teachers. Children would trace their hands along brown construction paper and glue on colored feathers. And it was almost seen as a right of passage for a child to get their fill of mini marshmallows, before the marshmallows even have a chance to make it on the top of the sweet potato pie.
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with your family, put on your loose clothes (let’s be honest, no one here actually wears their tight dresses and pants during Thanksgiving dinner), and be thankful for all the good in your life.
We are taught since childhood that Thanksgiving is an American holiday, and it has only been recently that I found out that other countries shared celebrations of Thanksgiving.
Rome celebrates Cerelia, a holiday that honors the goddess of corn (fitting for thanksgiving, right?). It is custom to offer grains, fruit, and live stock to the goddess and the offering is followed by food, music, sports, and parades.
China celebrates August Moon, the chinese feel that the moon is the highest, biggest, and brightest during the day of their celebration. On this holiday, lover speak out to one another, sort of like our Valentines day, and it is also known as the Women Festival for it’s loving and compassionate nature.
Brazil’s form of Thanksgiving is the closest to America’s version of Thanksgiving, being that it was a direct copy. During one of his visits, the Brazilian Ambassador was so enamored by the American celebration that he brought it back to his own country. Much like the American version, Brazil celebrates by giving thanks and enjoying food.
Korea celebrates Chu-Sok, meaning Fall Evening, as a remembrance for their ancestors and forefathers. The celebration goes on for three day, where people fill themselves with a traditional Korean dish called Songpyon( Rice, beans, sesame seed, and chestnuts). The children are clothed is colorful dresses and dress under the moon in order to receive their ancestors blessing.
I wonder if these countries made their children dress up in itchy native american costumes and remember the story of the Mayflower? I still twitch from those memories.