You’ve more than likely had your fair share of Thanksgiving celebrations--if not at home, then perhaps witnessed renditions on shows like Friends or How I Met Your Mother. The November holiday can be simply broken down into four main dishes: mashed potatoes and gravy, a roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. To really fulfill that holiday spirit, a heartfelt speech of gratitude is shared across the dinner table. And Voila! You’ve got yourself a traditional, All-American Thanksgiving.
Let’s take a look at non-American Thanksgivings around the world!
In Korea, a four-day Thanksgiving is celebrated in September, this year September 27, 2015. The holiday is determined by calculating the 15th day of the 8th month on the lunar calendar. Korea’s Thanksgiving holiday is known as Chuseok (추석) and is a very important holiday in Korea, in which family members, near or far, come together to share food and give thanks to ancestors.
Chuseok traditions include Charye, ancestor memorial services, Ganggansullae, a circle dance, and Ssireum, wrestling. During Charye, members honor their ancestors with representative foods: harvested rice, alcohol, and songpyeon (rice cakes). During Ganggansullae, women wear traditional clothing and join hands in a circle to sing under the full harvest moon. During Ssireum, two competitors face each other, using all strength, to pin their opponent, as in American wrestling. The winner of the math is named the village’s strongest man and takes home variations of food prizes, including cotton or rice.
In Brazil, like in America, Thanksgiving is commemorated on the fourth Thursday in November. It is known as “Dia de Acao de Gracas”in Portuguese, meant to express gratitude for the Almighty’s blessing of bountiful harvest throughout the year. Brazilians celebrate the event by attending Mass, offering prayers and thanks, preparing an exquisite dinner among friends and families. “Peru”, which translates to “turkey”in Portuguese, is the main course and is served with mashed potatoes, a sweet potato dish, and--a cranberry-sauce alternative--jaboticaba sauce. To top it all, an elaborate carnival takes place!
Not all countries celebrate this day of thanks, but those that do are pretty unique aren’t they? Music, dancing, prayer, and…carbs! We’re wishing you a happy holidays.
How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?