Thanksgiving Around the World

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! The most crucial part about Thanksgiving in any country is, of course, reuniting with friends and families and have a quality time together. Here in PastBook we believe that preserving family traditions is very important, that’s why we encourage you to collect your family pictures in a photo book – to save the memories forever. We also would like to thank you for being with us and offer you a great deal: 35% off, and this offer will last till 30th of November. Create a photo book now or scroll down to learn about amazing ways and traditions of Thanksgiving around the world.

Thanksgiving is one of the most expected holidays and seems like we know everything about it. But how is it celebrated around the world? And is it celebrated at all? First, lets figure out, what is Thanksgiving? As celebrated in the North America, Thanksgiving is the day when families and friends get together to share a special meal. This tradition roots back to 1621 when the Pilgrim Fathers invited the local Native Americans to a harvest feast after a particularly successful growing season. We associate Thanksgiving with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy and pumpkin pie; we give thanks to each other and pray the Lord for the rich harvest he provided us with. There are many other countries where people have annually harvest celebrations: although the theme is the same, each nation has its own rituals, customs, traditions and the ways to say “thank you”. Thanksgiving around the world: top 8 celebrations.


1. Korean Chuseok

The holiday is celebrated in August (the date varies as it is determined by the lunar calendar) and it continues for three days. Koreans go from big cities to their small home-towns in order to reunite with their families and share a traditional holiday meal. In the morning they perform ancestral worship rituals and then visit the graves of their ancestors to clean up the tombs and offer food, drink, and crops to their ancestors.



2. Greek Tsiknopempti

Literally, Tsiknopempti is translated as “Thursday of the Smoke of Grilled Meat”, and is usually celebrated in February during the Carnival season. Tsiknopempti is followed by the Great Lent – period of fasting before Easter, when it is not allowed to consume meat. To eat enough of it and gain strength, Greeks gather with friends and families and feast on all kinds of meat. Streets of every city fill up with savoury smells of barbecue, wine pours lavishly, happy people dance and sing songs all day long.



3. Israeli Sukkot

Sukkot, the Feast of the Booths or the Feast of the Ingathering – is a major Jewish holiday held in autumn that lasts for seven days, until the 21st day of Tishrei, which is the first month of the year in the Hebrew calendar. The word Sukkot derives from Hebrew word “sukkah” or booths – temporary shelters where Hebrews lived for 40 years while they were crossing the Sinai desert. The metaphorical mening of the holiday is to remind people how fragile their homes and bodies are and to thank the Lord for the food and shelter that they have. Holiday meal usually contains food of autumn harvest and takes place in sukkahs that Israelites build specifically for Sukkot.



4. Vietnamese Tet Trung Thu

Tet Trung Thu, or the the mid-Autumn Harvest Moon Festival, is traditionally held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month (usually, somewhere in September). Originally, this festival is devoted to children as a way to make up for the time that parents didn’t spend with their kids during the harvest season. Basically, Tet Trung Thu is a mix between Thanksgiving and Halloween: kids parade on the streets, singing and carrying around colorful lanterns. The Vietnamese believe that children, being innocent and pure – are the closest connection to the sacred and natural world. That’s why the festival is so popular in the country, and it is aimed at encouraging affection for children, promotes education, poetry, dance, arts and crafts.

Tet Trung Thu


5. Brazilian Dia de Ação de Graças

Brazilian Thanksgiving is quite contemporary and is almost identical to the one in the United States: it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, the main dish is turkey and the main goal of the day is to express the gratitude to the God for all his blessings throughout the year. However, Brazilians wouldn’t be Brazilians without a blazing carnival, samba, colorful decorations, festivities and joyful people all around.

dia de ação de graças


6. German Erntedankfest

Celebrated on the first Sunday of October, Erntedankfest is a Protestant holiday in which the church plays a big role. The festival includes some fun activities like Thanksgiving parade; elaborate decorations made of the harvested fruits, vegetables and flowers; dancing, music and fireworks. Germans go to church and volunteer to help the poor, many people spend time with their families outside of the big cities.



7. Indian Pongal

Pongal is a major harvest festival that is celebrated around the middle of January and it lasts for 4 days. The holiday has ancient traditions that Indians rigorously preserve nowadays as well. During the first day of Pongal people burn and get rid of old things and buy new ones instead: this represents the start of a new cycle. On the second day, Indians decorate their houses, wear their best clothes and worship the Sun God, offering prayers. On the third day, people worship the cattle, because it is believed to be the essential aspect of a good harvest. The fourth day is devoted to the family reunions: Indians eat outside, dance, play games, exchange gifts and spend a quality time with their loved ones.



8. Chinese Moon Festival

The Moon Festival, or the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the middle of the autumn season and is considered to be the second most significant celebration in China, after the Spring Festival. Chinese families get together to worship and offer sacrifices to the Goddess of the Moon. Millions of “moon cakes” – traditional sweet round pastries are given around as gifts. People enjoy the full moon, dance dragon and lion dances, sing, recite poems and light lanterns. As long as traditionally the Moon is a symbol of Yin – the holiday is also known as the Women Festival: people pray for fertility and strength of families. Chinese believe the full moon is a symbol of peace, prosperity, and family reunion. Moreover, it is a great opportunity for romance: unmarried couples slip away for a romantic evening, many men propose to their girlfriends under the light of the beautiful full moon.

Chinese Moon Festival


Although celebrated differently in different countries, the main idea of Thanksgiving stays the same: we spend time with the ones we love, sharing the meal and reviving old traditions. A great way to keep family traditions alive is to make photo books with your family pictures at least once a year, so that the future generations will be aware of what was going on with their antecedents. Create a photo book now and get a special Black Friday discount: 35% off on all photo books. Start the tradition, save the memories.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Around the World

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