The United States celebrates the Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November. This is the day when Americans thank the Providence for showering blessings on them; this is the day when they thank the bountiful God.
It is interesting to note that the Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in different parts of the world (albeit on different days) with fervor. Let us now look at how people in various nations thank the Almighty for His kindness and sustaining life.
The Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October and is an annual national holiday. The festival is held to thank the Divine for the harvest and other blessings. Churches in the country are decorated with various crops such as cornucopias, pumpkins, corn, wheat sheaves, and other harvest bounty. English and French harvest songs are sung on the Sunday of the Thanksgiving weekend.
The British celebrate the Thanksgiving Day on or near the Sunday of the harvest moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. The celebrations could be dated back to more than 2000 years, when the Saxons would consecrate their first sheaf of crop to gods. On this day, Britons decorate their houses with baskets of food and fruit. This food is then distributed to the less fortunate.
Norfolk Island (Australia)
The people of the Australian external territory of Norfolk Island celebrate the Thanksgiving Day on the last Wednesday of November. Many American whalers worked on the island in the 1960s and the festival is a legacy of their presence. All churches on the island are decorated on this day with agricultural produce, which is later auctioned.
In China, the Thanksgiving Day is celebrated as the August Moon festival which falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. Most people in the country believe that the moon appears the brightest on this day. The festival is traditionally associated with the womenfolk. The Chinese cook the moon-cake to mark the occasion, and convey their regards to their near and dear by gifting the delicious dish.
The Indian Thanksgiving Day, known as Pongal or Makara Sankranthi, is celebrated on January 15th. It is one of the most important festivals of the country. The day marks the start of sun’s journey northwards. A special dish, also known as Pongal, is cooked on the occasion. The dish is made out of rice and includes cardamom, jaggery, raisins, green gram (split) and cashew nuts. The dish is offered to the sun-god and later served in banana leaves to friends and relatives.
The Japanese celebrate the Labor Thanksgiving Day on 23rd November. It commemorates labor and production and the workforce is thanked for their contributions to nation building. Various events such as the Nagano labor festival are held on this day. Many children studying in elementary grade schools create drawings for the holiday and present them as gifts to local police stations.
We thus see that the Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in different parts of the globe. It is the time to rejoice and celebrate the gifts of the Supreme. Wishing you all a very happy holiday.