How many countries celebrate Thanksgiving?

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rayblum eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Civilizations and societies from the very distant past on up to today celebrate "thanksgiving." Please note that I did not capitalize "thanksgiving." The Greeks and Romans had gods/goddesses in their laundry list of deities that were responsible for a bountiful harvest. The Israelites, with their one god concept, also observed the harvest in a celebration known as Purim. All societies, especially agricultural ones, have set aside a time to thank their notion of God for the blessings of harvest. In an non-theological sense, the country fairs of the U.S., usually held in the autumn, are non-religious harvest celebrations.

Oh, by the way, pass the cranberry sauce.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many countries have some sort of day of thanksgiving on their national calendars.  However, only two countries celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday that is celebrated in the United States.  These countries are the United States, of course, and Canada.

The United States' Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.  By contrast, the Canadian holiday is the second Monday in October.

The reason these are seen as the same holiday is that they both have their roots in the same ideas and traditions.  They both date from colonial times.  In fact, Canada's first thanksgiving was close to fifty years before the American one.

mkcapen1 | Student

Canada has been blessed  ... to be observed on the 2nd Monday in Oc

Many countries have different holidays that celebrate the harvest time.  In Greece they celebrate Thesmosphoria in honor of the god of grain and prosperity.  The Chinese celebrate a harvest feast of Chung Ch'ui.  The Jewish people celebrate 'Sukkoth.  However, the only two countries that actually celebrate Thanksgiving are the United Sates and Canada.  Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated in October while in the United Sates it is celebrated in November.  The Canadians do not celebrate their Thanksgiving for the same reasons as Americans.  They celebrate it to thank God for giving them good harvests. 

The United States is the only country to celebrate Thanksgiving in honor of the pilgrims and Indians working together, and God's grace at helping the pilgrims to survive.  Since many Americans have moved to Canada through the years, the celebration and customs have become over lapping in both countries.  Pumpkin pie is a staple at both feasts as well as a cornucopia representing a bountiful harvest.


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