Thanksgiving: Traditions, Gratitude, Celebration

Thanksgiving Around the World

Did you know the American holiday of Thanksgiving has roots dating back to the 1600s when colonists held a harvest feast with local natives? Over the years, a variety of customs and traditions have evolved. Most of us associate the American holiday of Thanksgiving with a time for families and friends to come together, turkey centerpieces, parades with our favorite cartoons as giant balloons, football, volunteering, and giving thanks. It’s a time of reflection for families, and a time of giving for communities. But what about the rest of the world? Ever wonder how they celebrate Thanksgiving?


Canadians were first to the dinner table. They started celebrating the holiday of Thanksgiving nearly 40 years before Americans as a way for early settlers to celebrate and give thanks for a successful harvest. They, too, indulge in similar foods including pumpkin pie, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and more. What’s interesting, however, is that Thanksgiving is held in October is not recognized as a public holiday in every province. We can all agree they’re sadly missing out.


What’s Thanksgiving without a turkey? That’s right, while turkey is the favorite bird among Americans for the holiday, Germans tend to celebrate with chicken, geese, roosters, and the like. Similar to Canada, Germany celebrates during the month of October. Unlike Canada, Germany’s harvest festival is known as Erntedankfest and is typically marked by fireworks, parades, music, and dancing. Sounds like a party!


Did someone say “cake?” China’s celebration, known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, doesn’t include pumpkin pie, but instead, moon cake. That’s probably because the Chinese typically celebrate the holiday in late September or early October, when the moon is most full and bright. Their holiday’s roots can be traced back more than 2,500 years as an expression of gratitude for seasons changing and the beginning of the fall harvest.

These are just a few countries outside the U.S. that celebrate their own version Thanksgiving. There are several others out there that also celebrate with similar traditions. What’s common among most, if not all, is that Thanksgiving is a time for appreciation and gratitude. Although from different backgrounds, environments, life stages, and even different parts of the world, we all have something to be thankful for this year.

Here at TECALEMIT, we are genuinely thankful. We’re humbled by those of you have chosen to join forces with us this past year and we’re thankful for the opportunity to build upon our existing partnerships. 2017 has been a great year thus far and we look forward to what 2018 will bring for all of us!


Happy Thanksgiving from the TECALEMIT team!

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