I love that George Mason is such a diverse univeristy, so I thought it would be interesting to give a little insight of how many different celebrations relate to the American Thanksgiving. We often think of Thanksgiving as an American Holiday, but different cultures have their own version of it!
China: Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
This is celebrated like the American Thanksgiving, they surround themselves with loved ones and have a huge feast. It is held on on either September or October 15th (8th lunar month). This is when the moon is the brightest and roundest. The traditional food for this holiday is the mooncake, a pastry stuffed with sweet filling.
Ghana: Homowo Festival
This is a yam harvest celebration along the coast of Ghana. This holiday is a reminder of the famine period in Ghanian history. Homowo means, “hooted at hunger”. This harvest happens between May and August. Since the yam is the country’s staple crop, the women harvests them and keep the best ones for the dinner. The festival is accompanied by music with singing and dancing.
This harvest festival is a celebration for the diety Ceres (the goddess of Corn). The festival starts on Ocotober 4th and the citizens give their first produced crops and animals to the Goddess. This celebration is also complemented with music, parades, and sports!
This is a four-day festival (January 12th-15th) to celebrate the end of winter. The second day (Surya Pongal) is considered important day because the Indian people burn their clothes, get an oil massage, and wear new clothes, to worship the sun god, Surya.The cattle is also bathed and are fed rice boiled in milk (Pongal). Also the women of the house perfrom Puja- this is to bless their fellow brothers. The families as a whole, decorate the floors with rice flour.
Barbados: Crop Over
The Crop Over is a huge harvest festival in Barbados, where there is music dancing, competitions and grand costumes! The festival starts in the month of June and ends on the first Monday of August. It is marked the biggest national festival.