We are all connected to the country in different ways and to varying degrees. Millions of people live on or off the land. And this eternal bond between man and earth has long traditions and looks back on centuries of history. Especially in autumn, at the end of the harvest season, the harvest festival takes place in numerous communities in Germany, but also in many other countries around the world. The origin of this festival dates back to the pre-Christian era and presumably goes back to a Roman tradition. Officially, the Thanksgiving Festival has been held since the 3rd century AD. celebrated.
This is almost everywhere a solemn highlight in the otherwise dull autumn time. On the first Sunday in October, the harvest festival is celebrated at many Catholic places in Germany. In the Protestant communities even earlier, at the end of September.
In fact, Thanksgiving Day has a secular and religious character, in many cases outweighing the secular. On this holiday one expresses his joy over the successful harvest. This is the secular meaning of the festival. The faithful turn to God on this feast day and thank Him for the rich harvest. In the churches a joint service takes place, the church space is festively decorated with baskets full of fruits and other agricultural products. You also decorate the houses and show how rich the harvest was and that you are grateful for it. This also shows that the daily bread is not easily worked out, but always hard work behind it.
Just as with other folk festivals, old traditions are also cultivated on Thanksgiving Day. On this day, a crop crown is usually woven from ears of corn and decorated with crops. It is brought to the altar wall, thanking God for the earth and its fruits, for the abundance of food one has. According to an old tradition, the last straw sheaves are used to make a harvest doll, which is brought to the field as an offering and stays there. In some regions, this harvest doll is burned in the field as an offering to God.
After the service of God, the celebration begins! A solemn procession passes through the village, on a wooden cart many gifts of the earth are charged and there is a lot of music and a festive dance. The harvest festival is celebrated with feast and dances. In many rural areas, annual markets where you display your rich harvest production are actually only a part of it!
It is well known that ethnologists research festivals and customs in different cultures and countries and compare them. You have noticed that there are many things in common between our Thanksgiving Day and similar holidays of other nations. For example, Thanksgiving Day does not equal Thanksgiving Day, but it’s similar in many ways. In the US, this holiday is a public holiday and is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Thanksgiving Day has no religious but a family character. On this holiday, the family comes together, it is eaten rich and chatted at the table. The traditional American dishes on this day are stuffed turkey with sweet potatoes and selerie. It is essential to prepare a pumpkin or apple pie.
But one thing is for sure: just as on Thanksgiving Day and Thanksgiving Day, people are grateful for the rich variety of products they have today and they like to spend the holiday together with family and friends.