Almost every country and every culture celebrates a day of giving thanks. In America it began over 400 years ago and was celebrated in the form of a feast within the original colonies. But, that does not mean that everyone celebrates Thanksgiving Day the same way; as the traditions of one country may be completely different than those in another.
For example, in the country of Greece they do give thanks, but it is a 9 day harvest festival dedicated to the goddess of agriculture, Demeter. They also engage in other activities after the harvest. For example, all married women build huts made from plants and leaves and then decorate the interior with cushions. They continue into the second day with fasting and then on the third day they host Thanksgiving in their own way, by presenting a big feast complete with meats, sweets, nuts and fruit.
Thanksgiving Day in China was first celebrated during the full moon that appeared during the eighth month on the fifteenth day, as per the Chinese calendar. They would celebrate it by making moon shaped pastries to exchange with each other, as they considered this the moon’s birthday, and followed it up with the less traditional Thanksgiving dinner of fruit and ham. In England they celebrate the harvest festival during either late September or early October, followed by a church service and prayer.
In Egypt, they celebrate Thanksgiving by paying honor to Min, the god of fertility and the harvest. Originally celebrated during the spring, the time when they harvest their crops, they would pretend to cry while harvesting so that the god would not be upset with them for taking it. The history of Thanksgiving Day in Canada dates back to 1578, and is also a celebration of thanks and family gatherings, and is held on the second Monday in October. Cerelia was a harvest festival that the Romans celebrated to honor the goddess of grains, Ceres. This festival was always held on the 4th of October and the fruits of the harvest and roasted pigs were offered to Ceres. The celebration continued with a parade, music, sports and games and, of course, a huge feast.
Although many people agree that the original intent of Thanksgiving in North America was to take one day to give thanks for a good harvest and good life, now many believe that Thanksgiving Day is more about spending time with loved ones; by giving thanks and being with your friends and family in order to celebrate the day and time of year. Most also feel that it really does not matter what each country chooses to call it as long as time is taken to give thanks and spend time with those that they care about.
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