Thanksgiving is often thought to be an American tradition, but these Thanksgiving traditions Around the World prove otherwise. I’ve put together a list of traditions that would make the perfect Thanksgiving homeschool unit.
Thanksgiving Traditions Around The World
The true origins of our modern day Thanksgiving date back to pre-America England and Europe where a day of thankfulness was celebrated annually. The tradition carried with the Pilgrim’s and has since become our modern American tradition that is often completed with a roast Turkey, football and tons of friends and family.
Just the other day my girls were asking me when did Thanksgiving start. Especially because my youngest was born on Thanksgiving morning. That’s when I decided to create this Thanksgiving Around the World list, that would be great for a homeschooling lesson. Here are some interesting facts of traditions around the world.
The Cornucopia Comes From Ancient Greek
Roman and Latin in origin, one of our popular Thanksgiving decorations is often a cornucopia. This is actually an ancient Greek or Roman item that was typically filled with fruit, flowers, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and other treats. The Latin term “cornu copiae” is translated to the horn of plenty which is what we often think of when seeing or hearing the term cornucopia.
Greek myths say that the cornucopia was a severed goat’s horn that Zeus magically created as a way to give a never-ending supply of food to its owner. While a classic American Thanksgiving item, this is actually a well-noted item from other cultures for centuries before our Thanksgiving ever came about.
Canadians Celebrated Before The Pilgrims
Canadian Thanksgiving is very similar to the American classic Thanksgiving with tons of food, time with family and thankfulness, however, it was also something that occurred well before our own celebrations began.
Newfoundland was actually discovered prior to the Pilgrim’s landing at Plymouth Rock, thus Canada was truly thankful before America came to fruition. Canadians also follow a more traditional European harvest festival time and have Thanksgiving in October instead of November.
Ancient Rome Celebrated Cerelia In October
Classic Roman culture celebrated the festival Cerelia in October of each year in honor of the Goddess of Corn, Ceres. It was a festival that was thought to be a way of thanking the Goddess Ceres for providing them with grains and food to last throughout the winter. There was a traditional festival full of food, music, parades and sporting events. Very much like our Thanksgiving celebrations.
Liberia Celebrates Much Like America
Freed slaves returning to Liberia took back traditions from America, including the Thanksgiving celebration. They now celebrate the first Thursday of November with similar traditional foods with a slightly different twist on flavors.
Feast Of The Tabernacles Is A Fall Jewish Holiday
While this would technically be for all Jewish families, we can look back to Israel for its origins. Sukkot is the third of the Jewish pilgrimage festivals and is traditionally celebrated outside the home as a remembrance of the Israelites journey across the desert. This is typically celebrated in the fall as a feast and time of thanksgiving that could resemble our traditional Thanksgiving.
Korea Celebrates Chuseok
A bit earlier than our own Thanksgiving, Korea celebrates Chuseok in late September and early October of each year. This is a time to share food and celebrate the harvest with family and friends. Traditionally Koreans will use this time to share family stories, pay respects to their ancestors and eat traditional dishes like Songpyeon which is a kneaded rice cake filled with beans or other ingredients. There is also music, dancing, parades and costumes to help honor their ancestors.
Some of these Thanksgiving traditions around the world remind us that our own modern American Thanksgiving is somewhat based upon other countries ways of celebrating the harvest season. My girls thoroughly enjoyed learning about Thanksgiving and how it is celebrated around the world.
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If you enjoyed reading about Thanksgiving Traditions Around The World, then you will also love the following Thanksgiving Crafts for kids I have put together for you:
Will you be sharing Thanksgiving traditions this year?