Why Do People Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a celebration celebrated in different countries of the world. Thanksgiving in the United States is held on the last Thursday of November each year. Thanksgiving holidays are marked by parties and family gatherings. Some of the countries that celebrate Thanksgiving holidays in addition to the United States include Germany, Canada, Grenada and Korea. Although Thanksgiving is observed in various ways in different countries, the main reason for the holiday is to express gratitude. Here is a summary of why people celebrate Thanksgiving in different countries;

The United States

What we now know as American Thanksgiving was celebrated for the first time in 1621 by English pilgrims who celebrated their first successful harvest. They had the opportunity to thank God for the great harvest of the previous year. The 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, declared the event a national holiday in America in 1863 during the American Civil War. He stated that the fourth Thursday of November should be set aside to give thanks to God in prayer. Now, Americans observe Thanksgiving to celebrate good health, blessings in their family and prosperity. On this day, families gather and prepare different meals with turkey meat which is an important part of the meal.


In Germany, Thanksgiving Day is called “Erntedankfest”, which means “grape harvest festival”. The festival takes place on the first Sunday of October. The reason for the holiday is to celebrate the good autumn harvest. It is mostly an observance of the rural harvesting time characterized by choral singing, music, church services and the Thanksgiving procession. The harvest queen known as “Erntekrone” is presented with a harvest wreath during the celebration.


Vincent Massey, who was the governor general of Canada, declared Thanksgiving on January 31, 1957. He said that every second Monday in October should be a day of general thanksgiving for the abundant harvest in the country. Thanksgiving is held every year in Canada to celebrate the blessings of the previous year and the harvest of the year. The day is marked by spending time with the family during a party with food served mainly with roast turkey, autumn vegetables, sweet corn and sweet potatoes, accompanied by many celebrations and religious activities to give thanks.


Thanksgiving is a public holiday in Grenada and is held every year on October 25. It aims to commemorate the intervention of the 1983 joint forces in the Caribbean and America in Grenada. The intervention was intended to restore the stability of the country after the death of then Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. In Grenada, Thanksgiving is a holiday and is characterized by formal ceremonies and events.

South Korea

Thanksgiving Day, called “Chuseok” in Korea, is held in the 8th of the lunar month or autumn to celebrate the abundant harvest of the year. It is one of the most popular holidays in Korea where families come together and thank their ancestors. During Thanksgiving, the ancestors offer freshly harvested rice, alcohol and songpyeon. Later, members gather and feast on tasty traditional dishes. Songpyeon is one of the main foods served on this day. It is prepared with rice powder mixed in small size, then filled with beans, chestnuts and other ingredients.


by Abdullah Sam
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