Thanksgiving around the world

Thanksgiving is a national holiday known and celebrated primarily here in the US as well as in Canada. In Canada, the festival is aptly named “Jour de l’Action de grâce,” the French translation meaning “day of giving thanks.” The Canadian celebration takes place on the 2nd Monday in October, whereas the American holiday takes place on the 4th Thursday of November.

Though the holiday finds its roots in cultural and religious tradition, secular celebrations and variations of the feasting festival have cropped up all over the world. It’s proof that language, as well as holiday celebrations, often become translated to fit other cultures as well. Here are 3 cultures that host a holiday similar to Thanksgiving.

1. Korea

This celebration, called Chu-Sok (translating to “fall evening”) typically takes place on August 15th every year. The primary difference for this Korean holiday is that it extends across a period of 3 days. It is a time reserved for bringing families together and remembering their forefathers and ancestors. Children dress for the occasion and celebrate by performing a dance, and a food dish, “Songpyon” (rice, beans sesame seeds and chestnuts) is made. One might even say the dish is reminiscent of “harvest” ingredients.

2. Rome

The Roman harvest festival is called Cerelia and is commemorated in reverence to the goddess of corn, Ceres. Again, corn, being a food that comes with the harvest. Taking place on the 4th of October, the festival is held in order to offer the first-harvested fruits and grains to the deity. Music, dancing and parades are also common to this celebration, not unlike what’s done here in the US.

3. Brazil

The Brazilian version of Thanksgiving is an almost-exact mirror for the American version. Brought to the country by their Ambassador after a visit to Washington, D.C., parts of Brazil, particularly southern Brazil, have been known to celebrate the holiday in religious thanks for a bountiful harvest. These are only 3 cultures that celebrate the holiday in their own unique and amazing ways. Others include:

  • China’s Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
  • Liberian Thanksgiving
  • The Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles (Sukkot)
  • Ghana’s Homowo Festival

You can see then, why it might be important to have your business, brand or company’s content catered to another language and culture. Especially if your business sees an influx of traffic during this holiday’s season. You could be benefitting from making your information accessible to these other cultures who wish to incorporate what you do into their holiday. ITC Global Translations can help you make the leap into international marketing and globalization this holiday season. Contact us today.

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