How Some Parts Of The World Celebrate Thanksgiving
Like many of us know, countries around the world have different cultures, lifestyles, habits, and more, but they also have their similarities. In this article you can read about how thanksgiving is celebrated in Korea, USA, Canada, Germany and Ghana, and finally learn about how COVID-19 has impacted holidays this year.
Thanksgiving, or mostly known by Koreans as Chuseok is their most important holiday. Families used to come together to give thanks to their ancestors for their hard sacrifice when harvesting. Now, they celebrate Chuseok after every autumn by returning to their ancestral hometown. They eat seasonal food, play games and pay respect to their elders.
United States of America (USA) and Canada
Colonists of these two countries observed Thanksgiving as a day of prayer for all the blessings and wished people safe journeys, military victories and abundant harvests. Canadians began celebrating Thanksgiving in 1578 whereas Americans only began in 1621. Overtime, Thanksgiving has moved away from its religious roots and it allowed immigrants to celebrate the holiday. The Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, while Canadians celebrate it on the second Monday in October. A (standard) Thanksgiving celebration meal includes turkey, gravy, cranberries and pie.
Thanksgiving is known as Erntedank or Erntedankfest in Germany. It means “harvest thanksgiving festival”. It is normally a rural event and has town gatherings filled with food and neighbours. However, in urban areas, Erntedankfest is oriented by the Protestant and Catholic churches. It begins with a sermon and a choir singing thankful songs, followed by a thanksgiving procession and finalizes with a “harvest crown” which is referred to as ‘Erntekrone’ to the harvest queen. After the ceremony, there is dancing and eating. Erntedankfest is usually celebrated on the first Sunday in October.
Thanksgiving is named as Homowo in Ghana, and it is it’s largest festival. Homowo means ‘to jeer at hunger’ in Ga language. The main dish is yam and it is usually celebrated by the ‘Ga people’. The celebration includes songs and loud sounds of laughter. The festival begins in May when seeds are first sown and then the main feast takes place after the harvest in September.
How the COVID-19 pandemic affects holidays this year
COVID-19 has affected the holidays in 2020 tremendously. Since it started to impact the world heavily in February-March, Easter in April was not even celebrated. Families stayed in smaller groups and made what was possible inside their homes, as so many were scared of the new pandemic.
In October, for Halloween, knocking doors for ‘trick or treating’ turned into neighbours leaving the sweets (treats) on the doorstep wearing a mask, disinfecting the treats and having individual plastics for children to reduce contact. The children also needed to be aware that their ‘Halloween mask’ was not a substitute for a cloth mask, which may have caused breathing to be challenging while walking from door to door.
In November, for Thanksgiving, some families are opting to invite a few family members (It also helps giving an excuse for unwanted family members to not join) or just stay in their houses and enjoy turkey virtually. Zoom decided to remove the 40-minute rule so that families can celebrate the holiday in the safest way possible without having to rejoin every 40 minutes.
Who knows what the future holds for Christmas? Maybe we will have a cure on Jesus’ birthday, but if not, we will probably have to hope that Zoom can give us another gift and let us see our loved ones virtually.