WestSide Story

Worldwide Cultural Celebrations

Shay Harris, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story







The celebration of Thanksgiving in different countries are quite different than what we do here in America. For example Norwegians refer to the holiday as Høsttakkefest, which directly translates to “Harvest Thanksgiving Feast.” However, the roots mostly reflect both religious and secular tradition. Høsttakkefest roots go clear back adoption of Christianity in Norway. On September 29, 380 AD, in the ancient city of Chonae, a church was consecrated to the Archangel Michael. That date is now celebrated in the Catholic Church as Michaelmas, or Mikkelsmess to Norwegians. In medieval Europe, it was associated with the harvest that ends the farming year. So in Norway, the annual Høsttakkefest would be held at the same time as Mikkelsmess or on a Sunday before it. However, in 1770, Mikkelsmess was abolished as a public church holiday. When asked about Thanksgiving, or Høsttakkefest, foreign exchange student Christoffer Wandem (11) said, “We don’t really celebrate anything like that where I’m from, but one thing that we do that is really different from here is that instead of milk and cookies, we put porridge out for Santa.”

Filipinos do celebrate Thanksgiving, but in a different setting.  Unlike in the United States, that has a certain date and month and declared a National holiday, in Filipino tradition they celebrate Thanksgiving by merely offer a small prayer of thanks to the Lord and celebrate with a feast and without official date and month.  If you are one of the elites in the society will celebrate with the Lechon Baka or Lechon de Leche as the main feast, but for simple celebration any feast that is acceptable as long as they offer thanks to their significant accomplishments, such as Graduation, Passing the Board or Bar Exams, Company Promotions, Success in business, Homecoming, Having a new car, and Harvest time. Foreign exchange student Chanon Gulgattimas (11) said “We have a holiday called Loykratong where we celebrate the goddess of water and show our thanks for her and the harvest. We make a little “boat” called Kratong, it’s made out of the wood of a banana tree and we decorate it with banana tree leaves and flowers. On top of it, we put a little candle. We also release lanterns.”

The typical German celebration, Erntedankfest, is usually a harvest time celebration with church services, parades, music, much like our county fair. In larger cities, Erntedankfest is sponsored ran by the Protestant and Catholic church. The day usually starts with a church service, followed by the harvest celebration which deals with the “harvest crown” for the harvest queen. Later in the day, there’s more music, dancing, and food. In some places, there is also an evening service followed by a lantern parade for the children, and even fireworks! Victoria Zimmer (11) from the Frankfurt, Germany area said “Where I’m from, the harvest celebration isn’t really important unless you are religious. We do celebrate your version of Christmas Eve on December 6 though. The children clean their boots, and Nikolaus puts chocolate in them. My family eats a goose at Christmas time just like how Americans eat a turkey at Thanksgiving.” Exchange student Sarah Schicktanz (11) said “The children put out milk and cookies for Nikolaus on the sixth, and they also leave carrots for his animals.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
The Official Online Newspaper of Skyline High School
Worldwide Cultural Celebrations