Many different countries and cultures have different ways to give thanks and celebrate their country’s versions of thanksgiving. With the United States having their Thanksgiving coming up we are going to look at how other cultures celebrate their Thanksgivings and how their thanksgivings are shown in the media.
In Germany they celebrate a holiday called “Erntedankfest” from Germany. This holiday is one based around the harvest and the crop for the upcoming year. The German people pray for a good year of crop and harvest and celebrate the previous year by giving thanks.
“It was different celebrating it in America,” said Drew Tuemer a German-American who celebrated the holiday growing up. “It was hard to celebrate the parts of the holiday based around the crop living in Chicago, Ill., however we would still get together as a family and eat some of the traditional foods that are consumed on the holiday,” said Tuemer.
Erntedankfest can be like American Thanksgiving where TV shows will have an episode themed around the holiday. In a popular German sitcom during the 1970s, the show Ein Herz und eine Seele had an episode called “Erntedankfest.”
Another culture that has a celebration similar to the American thanksgiving is Israeli culture. In a holiday that is also part of the Jewish culture Israelis and Jewish people all around the world celebrate the holiday of “Shavuot.”
Shavuot like Erntedankfest is a holiday based around the crop and harvest of the previous year. In accordance with the holiday the Jewish people eat dairy products on the day to give the crops and harvested plants a rest.
To American Jews Shavuot is another holiday on the calendar some celebrate and some do not, but in Israel it’s very different.
“Everyone is with their families celebrating, people make big meals and put together big events for the day, it’s both religious and cultural,” said Eva Salby an Israeli currently living in Naharia Israel.
Shavuot typically won’t be found in any media outside Israel because the holiday is also about the time when the Jewish people received the Torah or Bible there are many movies and other forms of media in Israel that Shavuot is portrayed through.
Giving thanks is something that is very common in most cultures. The other Thanksgivings we explored were just two of many that are found all across the world. All Thanksgivings are important in their culture as a time for family, community, and thanks they have become a big part of TV shows and movies displaying how things can vary even within the same culture.