Thanksgiving in the USA is not only a national holiday that commemorates the first ‘Thanksgiving’ ever celebrated in America by the Pilgrims,  but also a most loved holiday for families all over the United State to reunite, come together and share a festive meal together.  Often several generations of a family meet up in the kitchen and prepare the traditional turkey feast together.

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November and traditionally marks also the start of Christmas shopping.

While we have a similar day in Germany, called ‘Erntedankfest’ , it doesn’t have the festive character it has here in the USA. It is also not a national holiday and while the church suggests to observe the day on the first Sunday in October, it is not an official church holiday either. Outside the bigger cities in smaller towns and villages it is usually custom that a procession follows a special ‘Erntedank’ church service that celebrates the rich harvest of the year.

In Germany Christmas season traditionally starts with the First Advent, even though St. Martins Day (Nov. 11) with its lantern parades already sets the spirit for the festivities ahead.

History of Thanksgiving (video clip)

Thanksgiving by the Numbers – Infographic (History Channel)


Comments are closed.