Thanksgiving is coming up in the United States (it was October 12th for our Canadian friends).  While American Thanksgiving traditions are know throughout the world, the US is not the only country that sets aside a special day for saying “Thank You”.  Here is how people are Giving Thanks Globally:

Traditional moon cake from China's autumn Moon Festival

Traditional moon cake from China’s autumn Moon Festival

  1. China’s Moon Festival – moon cakes are a special treat eaten during this festival. Chinese families usually buy them from local bakeries because they are so difficult to make.
  2. Vietnam’s Children’s Festival – it is said that during the harvest season, parents were so busy that they didn’t have time to spent with their children.  This special festival is a way for parents to make “amends” to their kids after not spending time with them the weeks before.
  3. United Kingdom’s Harvest Festival – families celebrate by giving fruit and vegetables to the elderly and needy in their communities.  Have you ever volunteer at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving?
  4. Germany’s Erntedankfest – communities host a parade and the festival queen is presented with a harvest crown at the end of the procession.  The day often ends with fireworks and a special sermon.
  5. Ghana’s Yam Festival – the day starts with remember family ancestors and recognizing twins and triplets in the communities.  Many dishes featuring yams are served, including mashed yams with hard boiled eggs
  6. Barbados –  sugar is the man ingredient of this celebration.  The man and woman who produced the most sugar cane during the year are each honored with a crown during a community celebration!

Many families that celebrate Thanksgiving incorporate traditions of other cultures into their celebration.  What special traditions do you have during Thanksgiving?