Thanksgiving around the world

How countries celebrate their version of Thanksgiving

Camilla Calilung, Author

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, the holiday was created in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Tribe had a harvest feast together. In 1863 during the Civil War,  President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. Some countries have their own version of Thanksgiving such as Africa, Korea, and Vietnam.

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, the holiday was created in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Tribe had a harvest feast together. In 1863 during the Civil War,  President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. Some countries have their own version of Thanksgiving such as Africa, Korea, and Vietnam.

Chuseok is celebrated in Korea, the holiday is to pay respect to the elders and a time for feasting and happiness. The holiday is mostly celebrated in South Korea; Chuseok starts on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. According to Imagine your Korea, “Visiting ancestral graves during Chuseok is known as Seongmyo. During this visit, family members remove the weeds that have grown around the graves in the summer season, a practice which is called Beolcho.” They also hold memorial services called Charye and afterwards they have a meal that includes major foods such as freshly harvested rice, alcohol, and rice cakes (songpyeon). A traditional dance is performed by women called Kanggangsuwollae or Ganggangsullae. The women dance in a circle going clockwise while singing. On Chuseok, games such as kobuk-nori are played, the game includes two men that dress as tortoises to perform for food and drinks. During the holiday chuseokbim, a traditional holiday outfit is worn. Popular places where Chuseok occurs are Korean Folk Village, Changdeokgung Palace and Huwan, and Jongmyo Shrine.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in Vietnam, in vietnamese the holiday is referred to as Tet Trung Thu or Children’s Festival. Tet Trung Thu takes place on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. Mooncakes are sold on the streets which signals the beginning of the holiday; the mooncakes are made out of lotus seed, ground beans, and egg yolk. Before the holiday begins people like to give out boxes of mooncakes as gifts. On nights before Tet Trung Thu, children ranging from little kids to teens parade through the streets performing a lion dance. Some beat on drums and others control the lion. Children go around the village asking businesses if they are able to perform, which is believed to bring a blessing and a luck of fortune. Afterwards they receive lucky money from the hosts. According to China Highlights, “Usually, a worshiping platform is set up in the yard during the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, on which mooncakes, fruit, and snacks are laid. Later, family members sit together to eat the food while appreciating the moon. The platform is not taken down until midnight, when the food has been completely eaten. Most families also set up a special platform for children, so that they can enjoy food at anytime during the evening.” On Tet Trung Thu children also play with paper lanterns.

For Thanksgiving some students at Battlefield eat different types of food with the traditional Thanksgiving meal and they also have their own traditions. Junior Kenny Chou says, “We do a mix of both. We have Chinese, Vietnamese, and traditional American food. In my family we usually play a game of kickball with the cousins.” On Thanksgiving his family has a variety of foods.

When asked what his family does for Thanksgiving, junior John Garcia says, “We eat traditional Thanksgiving food but we also have Filipino food and the family always does karaoke.” Aside from the traditional turkey his family eats filipino food.

For Thanksgiving junior Lisa Moshiro says, “We eat Tanzanian for Thanksgiving and we usually hang out with my cousins.” Her family has Tanzanian food rather than the traditional food for the occasion.

Although there are differences to some student’s Thanksgiving, they all share similarities of the holiday such as eating traditional Thanksgiving food and being with family.

 

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