For this holiday season I thought it would be fun to share Thanksgiving trivia with you, our readers. After all, sharing holiday festivities with friends and family is always a healthy activity.
It was amazing to discover how many other countries have their own national reasons for a day of thankfulness. Some even celebrate our American Thanksgiving. The majority of these countries celebrate a time of thanks for good harvests. A few of the countries which celebrate Thanksgiving are: Canada, Ghana, Germany (with Austria and Switzerland), Japan, Liberia and Norfolk Island.
Canada gives thanks on the second Monday in October for the safe passage of the first explorers to Newfoundland from England in the 1500s. They also give thanks to God for abundant harvests.
Canadian festivities are similar to those here in the U.S., though Thanksgiving seems to be not as big of a deal for Canadians. Because there are so few malls across Canada, Black Friday does not exist. Their biggest national shopping day is on Dec. 26th, their Boxing Day holiday.
Ghana celebrates their thankfulness from May to August as they truly thank the gods for rescue from severe famine. Dancing, singing and parades are enjoyed throughout the festival, along with good food.
Germany with Switzerland and Austria give thanks to God for their abundant harvests. Their Thanksgiving is celebrated sometime between September and October, and the dates vary from year to year. Celebrations are held in rural communities instead of traveling to be with family. Festivities include church services, parades and music.
Japan’s Thanksgiving, on Nov. 23, honors the workers in the communities and is similar to our Labor Day. Children make gifts for workers and there may be labor awareness festivals.
Liberia celebrates on the first Thursday in November, giving thanks to God for freedom and for their country. Some sources say Liberia is the only country (besides America) in which Thanksgiving is a national holiday. Festivities include a good meal with family and friends then concerts and dancing.
Norfolk Island, alone in the Pacific Ocean, was a British convict colony for decades. In the 1800s an American trader, named Issac Robinson, settled on the island and brought Thanksgiving with him.
Thanksgiving is celebrated the last Wednesday in November. Festivities are decorating the churches with plants and produce, and a large community meal. The main meal includes pork, chicken, and bananas. There is pumpkin pie, along with many banana desserts.
The church decorations are then sold to make money for church preservation. Eventually, Thanksgiving became a three-day event as A Taste of Norfolk festival was tacked on to the end of Thanksgiving day. As a footnote, in 1914, Norfolk Island became part of Australia.
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Crystal Linn is a multi-published author and an award-winning poet. When not writing, or teaching workshops, she enjoys reading a good mystery, hiking, and sailing with friends and family. See crystallinn.com.