By Ethan Clawson
Erntedank, which takes place in Germany, is a day to give thanks and is celebrated on the first Sunday of November. This holiday pays tribute to the work accomplished in Germany’s fields and gardens. There are often county fairs and town gatherings, but in larger cities, Catholic and Protestant Churches are the ones who set up everything for this tradition. In the churches it starts with a sermon and choir singing. There is a harvest crown (Erntekrone) that is given every year and it goes to the harvest queen. Then later in the evening there is another church service and after that there is normally a lantern and torch parade (letemenumzug) for the children.
La Fiesta Del Ringraziamento, “The feast of Thanks,” celebrated in Italy. For supper they start with “Antipasta”, which is an appetizer. “Prima” is where you get your pasta and is served after “Antipasta”. “Secondi” is when you get served Guinea Fowl, a close relative of the turkey. “Dolci” is the finisher, the dessert and is what ends the meal and includes cakes, pumpkin tarts, fruits and much more. The meaning and traditions of thanksgiving here in the states is the same as over in Italy, the only difference is the menu. They still have something like turkey and are still surrounded by friends and family.
When Lenape students were asked how they celebrate thanksgiving and what they would normally eat, this is what they said. Zandra Gasper said, “For supper they have Turkey, Mac & Cheese, Scalloped Potatoes, Pickled Eggs, and Deviled Eggs. For dessert there is Pumpkin pie, Apple pie, and Blueberry Cheesecake.”
What we have learned is that the idea of “thanks” and “giving” is celebrated differently in many places around the world. It might have a different menu and have different ways to celebrate like a party, a family supper or even a parade. It all depends on where you are in the world during this harvesting time of the year.