Thanksgiving as we know it in the US not did not originate with the pilgrims nor did it originate in the US. Today Thanksgiving is celebrated in other countries and known by other names.
The earliest recording* of a festival of thanks is found in the Pentateuch. The Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles is a harvest festival which commemorates God’s provision and protection during the 40 years in the wilderness (Leviticus 23).
Here are some other countries that celebrate Thanksgiving or harvest festivals:
Canada: Thanksgiving takes place the second Monday in October. It celebrates the harvest and a time to thank God for blessings throughout the year. The festival originates from the 1578 voyage of Martin Frobisher in search of the Northwest Passage.
Liberia: Thanksgiving takes place the first Thursday in November. Liberia was founded in the 1800s by freed slaves from the US. They brought with them many traditions including Thanksgiving.
Norfolk Island: Thanksgiving takes place the last Wednesday in November and is based on US traditions.
Grenada: Thanksgiving takes place October 25 to commemorate the US invasion which resulted in the restoration of Grenada’s constitutional government.
Germany: Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival that takes place in September and October. This harvest festival is part of Bavarian culture and has been commemorated for more than 200 years. It originated from the festivals around the marriage of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese in 1810.
United Kingdom: Lammas Day is a harvest festival based in Anglo-Saxon England which takes place August 1. It is celebrated by Christians and neo-pagans worldwide.
These are only a few examples of society coming together to enjoy the fruits of their labor and give thanks to God for their good fortune. For a more extensive list, check out this article on harvest festivals.
November 24 – Ashley, she always brings me cheer
November 25 – Bobby B., for his continued support, advice and almost always having the answer to my obscure questions.
November 26 – Even more projects
November 27 – My dear friends back home, I sure miss you guys: Kim, Margie, Melanie, Heather and Princess.
November 28 – Pizza, our new Thanksgiving tradition
November 29 – We had a delicious day after Thanksgiving dinner but no room for pumpkin pie. That will have to wait until tomorrow
November 30 – There is not enough time to tell of all God has blessed me with, I am so thankful for all he has done.
Let’s continue the spirit of Thanksgiving gratitude all year long.
*If anyone knows of an older recording of a similar festival please leave a comment.