Americans are not the only nationality to celebrate Thanksgiving. Just about every country has celebrated a bountiful harvest and a time of giving thanks. Though these harvests and celebratory days are not all at the same time, and have different rituals and customs associated with them, they are still family celebrations none the less. One of the things each of these holidays and celebrations have in common is that they involve food.
Thanksgiving in the United States
In November, more than 350 years ago, the pilgrims and the Native Americans gathered together for three days, singing, dancing, and feasting on wild turkey, fish, Indian corn, and venison. Today, families still get together, eat a grand dinner, try out new Thanksgiving dessert recipes, and enjoy each other’s company.
Incwala in South Africa
In December, this six-day festival, also called the Festival of the First Fruits, includes priests gathering seawater and foam from the ocean, young men cutting branches from a Lusekwane tree, and lots of chanting and dancing. The highlight of the event is when the king bites, chews, and then spits out the first piece of fresh fruit of the season. Now, all people have permission to eat their crops.
Lammas Day in the British Isles
On August 1, during medieval times, the first wheat harvest took place. People would bake bread and place it on church altars as offerings. They also made dolls out of sheaves of grain and then planted them in the spring to ensure a plentiful crop. Today, fairs are still held throughout the British Isles to commemorate the annual harvest.
There are many more interesting and unique harvest celebrations and events to give thanks held all around the world. Each holiday has its own customs, but they are all happy times spent with loved ones.