I am pretty excited to be celebrating my first Thanksgiving tomorrow. I have a new housemate that's moved down from Montana, America. She has promised me that it would be a feast! However, other than the feast, I was curious to know what the traditions for this American holiday are. Thanks to F.R.I.E.N.D.S I have an idea of what Thanksgiving is but what exactly is it?

Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November. This year it falls on Thursday, November 26th. Thanksgiving dates back to the 16oo's when the Pilgrim Fathers celebrated the harvest. The first formal Thanksgiving proclamation was made by the first President of the United States of America on October 3rd, 1789.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a celebration or a feast to give thanks for the fruits of the previous harvest. Today, it is mainly about families and friends coming together to share food, enjoy parades, watch American football and most importantly be grateful for everything.

Thanksgiving maybe famously celebrated as an American holiday but it is not. Giving thanks to the last harvest is celebrated all over the world from China to India to Germany.

China: Chung Chiu Moon Festival 

The Chinese celebrate a three-day feast on the 15th day of the eighth lunar cycle to celebrate the autumn harvest. The entertainment features Chinese mooncakes filled with sesame seeds, lotus seeds.

South India: Pongal, The Harvest Festival

Pongal is celebrated in four parts today in the south of India. The first day is to honor the god of the rain and the clouds. Offerings are given to the god Indra so that their harvest is bountiful. The next day is accepted to the Sun God with a rice dish and sugarcane sticks. This is followed by cowherds and shepherds paying thanks to their cattle. The animals are painted and decorated in this celebration. Finally, on the fourth day, family members and friends gather for a feast and share their crops and give thanks for a successful harvest.

Germany: Erntedankfest

Another harvest festival celebrated in Germany with music, dancing and a bounty of fruits and vegetables from the harvest. Unlike other harvest festivals, Erntedankfest isn’t celebrated with family gatherings and turkey. Instead, the extra food is given to the needy. In some places, the service is followed by fireworks for children.

Canada: Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving is similar to the US and the UK. However, the Canadian celebrate their Thanksgiving on Sundays. The celebrations include parades, football, and turkey.

Thanksgiving is just a celebration of food with your close ones and the art of conversation & laughter, so what are you waiting for? Roast that turkey!