Every year around this time, we here in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving. This got us wondering, do counties from around the world celebrate similar holidays? Well, we looked into it, and here are a list of 25 Thanksgiving/Harvest festivals from around the world.
Argentina: Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia
Taking place during the first week of March, this celebration of wine and wine-making has been going on officially since 1936. There are four main events that occur during this fiesta: The Benediction of the fruit, which takes place on the last Sunday in February. The Vía Blanca de las Reinas, where the women who have been elected as Reinas, or queens, parade through the streets in chariots. The Carrusel Vendimial, which is another parade of the Reinas, only this time they are accompanied by men dressed in Gaucho style outfits riding horseback, and dancers representing various provinces of Latin America. And finally the “Acto Central” or central act, which takes place in the Frank Romero Day Greek theatre and features over 100 performers and dancers. At the end of the show is a large fireworks display and the Queen of the Festival is chosen.
Australia: Apple and Grape Harvest
Dating back to 1954, this Stanthorpe festival (known then as the “Back to Stanthorpe Week”) lasts three days in March and is host to approximately 60,000 to 80,000 people. Some of the festivities include Seasonal Harvest Tours & Harvest Feasts where people can enjoy local cheeses and wines, a gala ball, a street parade, and even a celebrity grape crush.
Barbados: Crop Over Festival
Back in the 1780’s Barbados was the world’s leader in sugar. Every year they would hold a celebration signifying the end of another successful harvest, the “Crop Over” Festival. Once the sugar industry in Barbados declined, so did the festival, and in 1940 it was shut down completely. However in 1974, it was revived, adding more aspects from their culture to become the enormous festival they know today.
Brazil: Dia de Ação de Graças
Celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday in November, this Brazilian holiday borrows heavily from the American one. The Ambassador of Brazil was so fascinated by Thanksgiving in America, that he brought the tradition back with him and in 1949, the National Day of Thanksgiving was established by the President of Brazil, Gaspar Dutra.
This annual Canadian holiday dates all the way back to 1578 when Martin Frobisher sailed from England looking for the Northwest Passage. His group of explorers was suddenly separated due to harsh ice and storms but they were able to reunite at what is now known as Frobisher Bay. It was there that they began a sermon and thanked “God for their strange and miraculous deliverance in those so dangerous places”. Despite its long history, it took three centuries for it to be declared a national holiday in 1879 and it wasn’t until 1957 that its official date, the second Monday of October, was decided.