As we approach Thanksgiving Day, LinguaLinx would like to take the time to thank all of our clients, team members, linguists, interpreters, vendors, and community partners. You are a huge part of our success! Later on this week, most of us in the United States will sit down and share a meal with one another in the spirit of giving thanks – a tradition that originated with the first successful harvest of the Pilgrims with the help of Native Americans in 1621. Did you know that there are other similar harvest festivals and holidays in other cultures around the world? Here are a few:
As one of their most important holidays, Korea’s harvest festival is a three-day festival celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, typically in September or October. Koreans travel from all over to their home towns to gather with family for quality time and give thanks to their ancestors for the harvest. Customs include memorial services to ancestors Charye, (차례), visiting ancestors’ graves Seongmyo (성묘), and clearing of weeds from graves, Beolcho (벌초).
Homowo Festival (Ghana)
This festival is a tradition of the Ga people and celebrates their victory over hunger after a famine in their history. It is celebrated in May with the planting of crops before the rainy season. Homowo means to hoot or laugh at hunger in the Ga language.
Mid-Autumn Festival (China)
China’s harvest festival is always celebrated in the middle of their autumn season, on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, usually mid to late September to early October. Chinese people believe a full moon is a symbol of peace, prosperity, and family reunion, and this day is when the moon is the brightest. People travel home to be with their families, share a meal, and make and eat moon cakes.
Thai Pongal (Tamil)
The Tamil people celebrate their harvest festival at the end of their harvest season, typically in mid-January. Thai is the third month on the Tamil calendar and Pongal is the Tamil word for overflowing. The boiling over of milk in a clay pot is symbolic of abundance and prosperity.
Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
Our neighbors to the north celebrate their Thanksgiving Day on the second Monday in October. They also celebrate with a big meal, large gatherings, and giving thanks.
It is important to recognize and celebrate different cultures around the world to help bridge cultural and linguistic barriers. Also, let’s not forget, if you are doing business internationally, being aware of holidays is important for scheduling, timing, and connecting with people in these locales.