Holiday Traditions in Other Countries

By Jordan Stowe - Staff Writer/Photographer

The first Thanksgiving was in 1621; the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an harvest feast. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. Growing up in America, most of us know that it's the day where we sit around the table giving thanks and stuffing our faces with turkey, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, but other countries have their own holidays with different delicious food traditions.

Katharina Pezzi is from Italy, and she said, “ I have never celebrated Thanksgiving and we don't have any holidays that are similar to Thanksgiving. But in November they have other holidays. One includes that in Italy every kid has a godmother/father and usually in November they give presents to the child.”

The other holiday is called Saint Day, Katharina said, “ We basically commemorate our dead family members. Everybody goes to the grave of their family members to pray for them. After that you usually have dinner with the whole family”

Katharina said “that certain holidays have certain foods that are commonly eaten.” On Christmas everybody cooks what they like the best. On Easter many people put food like eggs, bacon, and sausage in a basket and take it to church. They also have a special kind of bread called easter bread, the pastor blesses the food and after church the families go home to eat it with different kinds of soup.

Katie Lin from Taiwan says she has celebrated Thanksgiving before. “ I was here in Utah last year as an exchange student, I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving and United States Thanksgiving.” In Taiwan they do not really have a special day to celebrate in November. However, they have their own patriotic cultural holidays.

“We have a lot of holidays we celebrate and I think the most important one is Chinese New Year, we will be together as a family and have a really really good dinner.”

“Dumplings, fish, spring rolls, pineapple and nian gao are the things that are really common to see during the holiday. Every Food has a different meaning” said Katie about the common foods she was during the holidays.

Kwasi Foutz from Ghana did not celebrate Thanksgiving in his country. Living in Ghana there were no November holidays like celebrating Thanksgiving. The did celebrate Christmas with big parties. When certain holidays came they celebrated with fireworks and of course food. When that time came the families came together and they pitched in money to get a goat or a cow. With all of that meat they celebrate together.

Alexa Nielson moved to Utah from Ireland at the end of 2011. In Ireland they only have bank holidays. The biggest holiday they celebrate is Christmas. In Ireland the main foods that the eat to celebrate the big holidays is chicken, lots of varieties of potatoes, Yorkshire pudding which is like bread rolls to us, and Schloer that is carbonated grape juice. Alexa celebrates with her family and friends.

As different countries celebrate different holidays and their special occasions, the one thing that we all have in common is we celebrate it with food and family. As we draw close to Thanksgiving and while we are stuffing our faces with delicious food, we need to remember what we are thankful for and remember your family roots and traditions.