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Start a New Thanksgiving Tradition

Updated on November 17, 2014

Thanksgiving Traditions make the Holiday Special

Around the world Thanksgiving is celebrated with a wide variety of various traditions. Yes, it might not be called Thanksgiving in every country, but you will find Pongal in south India, the Moon Festival in the far east, Succoth in Israel and many other celebrations around the world.

The common link is some type of celebrating of the harvest season and a thankfulness that is expressed in this celebration.

What thanksgiving traditions do you have in your family? Are you looking for some new ideas that might just start a new family tradition?

Read on to hear about traditions around the world and discover ideas that you might want to incorporate into your celebration.

photographs by Mary Beth Granger

Give Thanks Notes

show your thankfulness

Sending a note of Thanksgiving to someone who has touched your life is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving or any day. I love to receive these cards from thoughtful people and I try to send one or two to different people each year. I also send them to family members who cannot be with us on the holiday.

Thanksgiving Celebrations Around the World - celebration of the harvest

Many cultures have set aside days to give thanks for the years' harvest. Here are just a few of the celebrations that link thanksgiving and a thankfulness for a bountiful harvest.

You can read more about each of these countries customs at Thanksgiving Round the World

  • Chusok- the Korean thanksgiving is celebrated the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar Korean calendar. The major food of the celebration is Songpyeon, a crescent shaped rice cake.
  • Thanksgiving-in the US it is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November. The first thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 when the pilgrims celebrated a successful harvest.
  • Thanksgiving- in Canada is mainly on the 2nd Monday in October. The Canadian celebration goes back to Martin Frobisher who held a formal ceremony to give thanks for surving a long journey.
  • Succoth-this 7 day celebration is held in late September to early October in Israel. It is also known as the Feast of Booth or the Feast of Tabernacles.
  • Pongal- this celebration in south India, also called "Rice Harvest Festival" is to thank those who have contributed to a succesful harvest.
  • Yam- this celebration is popular in Ghana and Nigeria. Yams are the first crops to be harvested there.
  • Moon Festival- in the far east farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting seson.
  • Onam- this is an annual harvest festival in southern Inda.

Thanksgiving Traditions- Special Serving Dishes - use a favorite dish

Sometimes family thanksgiving traditions include using special dishes for the holiday. Here are some wonderful choices to help make the holiday festive.

Pumpkin Shape Chip & Dip Plate Featuring Sunflower Dish
Pumpkin Shape Chip & Dip Plate Featuring Sunflower Dish

I love this cheerful pumpkin appetizer dish.

Thanksgiving Turkey Pedestal Centerpiece Bowl/Dish For Holiday Decor
Thanksgiving Turkey Pedestal Centerpiece Bowl/Dish For Holiday Decor

This dish will make a great centerpiece for your thanksgiving table.


Start a New Thanksgiving Tradition

Send out Thanksgiving Cards to show your thankfulness. What a great way to let people know that you are thankful that they are in your life!

Autumn Colors add to the Thanksgiving Celebration

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Thanksgiving always seems to be the culmination of the fall season.

This photo was taken on a small lake in Michigan last fall.

Pumpkins are a fun Thanksgiving Tradition - pumpkins always make me think of thanksgiving

In the United States pumpkins are a tradition at thanksgiving time. This photograph was taken of a pumpkin display at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis last fall.

Homemade Pies are part of our Thanksgiving Tradition

Pies are always the dessert of choice for our Thanksgiving meals. We always have the traditional Pumpkin Pie and then a fruit pie.

This is an apple pie that my daughter-in-law baked.

May you and your loved ones have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? - stop by and leave your comments

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    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Family gatherings for Thanksgiving are always special and the day is a wonderful one for remembering the people in our lives we are thankful for. A Thanksgiving card would be a perfect way to do that.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 4 years ago from New York City

      By gearing up for the Christmas season. All work for us, but I believe in giving thanks every day; so, I can get away with missing the big one.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      We do the basic Thanksgiving dinner (at lunch) and spend time with our family.

    • sunlightseer profile image

      sunlightseer 5 years ago

      Our tradition that never changes is being with family. The location, food, number of people may change but not the fact that we get together. Our newest tradition is having 3 of our 6 grandsons over to "help" me cook. A laugh because it takes me much longer, but it's a lot more fun. Thanks for the nice lens.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 5 years ago

      PS. We celebrate in different ways each year. Last year our family provided dinner for the group home where my disabled brother lives, this year, I hope to have it here. Depends upon what life brings that year:-)

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 5 years ago

      What a beautiful selection, and love the colorful pictures. Really nice!

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 5 years ago

      With family! Thanksgiving is truly one of my favorite holidays and being able to spend it with family is the best of all!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      My hubby was a broadcaster and always had to 'work' on Thanksgiving Day, so early on we began having our dinner in the evening and inviting radio, then later TV, personnel who also had to work. These were usually young bachelors who wouldn't have had a family to be with for this special 'family' day. This began a tradition we continued for more than 40 years! This year my daughter & SIL & SIL's best friend (also a broadcaster), plus my brother & family will all be together for Thanksgiving. It will be a very special day.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      Thanksgiving is such a great time at my house. We love having all the kids and grandkids celebrate with us. Lots of beautiful ideas here. More fun to add to our collection.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 5 years ago

      I'm already thinking about Thanksgiving. They were putting out the frozen turkeys when I was at the store a couple of days ago. We'll celebrate with hopefully getting our far flung family together for turkey dinner.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      When I lived in Alberta, our neighbors would have us over for Canadian Thanksgiving in October, and we would have them over for American Thanksgiving in November. This is a really joyous lens - blessed.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 6 years ago from Australia

      Thanksgiving is not really a part of our culture, but it definitely should be - thank you for the prompt. Blessings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Another beautiful Lens, I love those cards and harvest pictures!

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I give thanks - love the harvest magnet

    • ellagis profile image

      ellagis 6 years ago

      no, in Italy we don't celebrate thanksgiving.... turkeys are happy! :D

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      We don't celebrate Thanksgiving or any harvest celebration in my country, The Netherlands.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Being thankful to see another day!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Being thankful to see another day!

    • awakeningwellness profile image

      awakeningwellness 6 years ago

      I absolutely love the photo of the trees on the beautiful!

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 6 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      Interesting and beautifully crafted lens. Thanks!

    • profile image

      mrducksmrnot 6 years ago

      What a wonderful lens on Thanksgiving and the different times and traditions. I believe the Native American Indians all celebrated the Harvest Moon as the season. Thanks for sharing and I give Thanks unto you for such a special lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congratulations for being included on the Best of Lists, 75 Lenses You Shouldn't Miss This Thanksgiving by SquidTeam, and Happy Thanksgiving! - Kathy

    • profile image

      hexagon 7 years ago

      Lovely Thanksgiving lens.

    • profile image

      dessertlover 7 years ago

      Great thanksgiving recipes! And just in time for the holidays :) Great lens!

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 7 years ago from California

      Your Fall Photo of the Trees about took my breath away! Just Beautiful! I like the selection of pumpkin cards too, but the trees are my favorite :)

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      We have a pretty typical Thanksgiving tradition, the biggest one being an overwhelming amount of food with the entire family present. It's the best time of year to catch up and hang out, and much more laid back than the holiday season.

    • elizajane202 lm profile image

      elizajane202 lm 7 years ago

      We stopped having turkey 10 years ago and decided to go out to eat on Thanksgiving every year. Last year was the first time we stayed home, we decided to lean more towards my hubby's heritage and went with an Italian styled Thanksgiving.

    • elizajane202 lm profile image

      elizajane202 lm 7 years ago

      We stopped having turkey 10 years ago and decided to go out to eat on Thanksgiving every year. Last year was the first time we stayed home, we decided to lean more towards my hubby's heritage and went with an Italian styled Thanksgiving.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      We will be celebrating Thanksgiving differently this year -- don't know how just yet, but you have given me some ideas for sure.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Beautiful lens. I love the photo of the small lake in Michigan.Thanks for adding a couple of my Zazzle items here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Your designs are absolutely beautiful, I love the pumpkins, and the autumn colors, oh and the sunflowers, ok, yes, I loved them all! LOL

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      What a wonderful suggestion! Your cards are always so beautiful and I love Sandy's magnet too. Totally awesome!

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      In Britain we have Harvest Thanksgiving at this time of year. I'm going to a service tomorrow, followed by a celebration lunch. hope you enjoy your celebration later on.

    • Joycevoice profile image

      Joycevoice 7 years ago

      My family and I write down what we are thankful for on note cards. We don't identify ourselves on the cards. My sister reads them and the rest of us guess who wrote them. Beautiful photos, especially the trees along the water!

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 7 years ago from Pueblo West

      We share Thanksgiving in the traditional manner. Thanks for sharing this interesting info.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      It's a quiet day at home with just my husband and myself. We fix a big feast and call the family long-distance to chat.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 7 years ago

      I like to reflect on God's goodness to me on Thanksgiving day, no matter what else I do.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      You know, a few years I rather started a tradition for us ... by bringing my layered salad to the family reunion. I've started something! ;)

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 8 years ago

      We celebrate very traditionally - a huge feast, and loads of leftovers. We could use a few good new traditions to change it up. Thanks for this great lens!

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 8 years ago

      It is very interesting to see how most other countries have Thanksgiving revolving around the harvest of crops specific to the region. I love the idea of Thanksgiving cards...everyone gets so many at Christmas so it would be a good way to not get lost in the shuffle. Great 5* lens!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 8 years ago from Australia

      It is interesting to see the Thanksgiving traditions in other cultures. Some people are adopting a National Day of Thanksgiving here in Australia (which began in 2003), where we express thanks to various members of the community (eg emergency services) by giving a card and/or a plate of cakes etc.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Thanks for your friendship, Mary Beth. This lens is featured on:

      A RocketMoms Thanksgiving Day Feast :)

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I actually AM starting a new Thanksgiving tradition this year. I'm bringing a dish! :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Your photography is amazing. I just appreciate your sharing it with us. Lensrolling this lens to my Thanksgiving Prayer - A Family Tradition and also leaving you with a blessing from this honorary Squid Angel.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Wonderful Photos. Very nice lens! I love Thanksgiving. It's one of our favorite holidays with turkey and all the trimmings. In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving the 2nd Monday of October. I love to cook turkey even when it's not a holiday. Your pie looks very delicious!

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 8 years ago from Minnesota

      A really wonderful lens about a favorite holiday! YOur photographs are fabulous - especially the scenic Michigan picture. I'm adding this as a featured lens on my holiday lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I thought for sure when I read the title of this lens it was going to be recipes for Tofu Turkeys and all sorts of bizarre things... ha ha I'm so glad it wasn't. Terrific ideas for Thanksgiving. Good content! **5**

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      Super ideas!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 8 years ago from England

      Beautiful photographs! We don't celebrate Tahnksgiving in the Uk and it is one holiday I would like to experience :)

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 8 years ago

      I celebrate not having to COOK!!!! I like your photos. Happy Fall

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      It's all about the food. Oh yeah, and feeling thankful ;) NIce lens, 5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i absolutely looooooooooove your photos. Wish I could take photos like these!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Beautiful lens!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Mary Beth that's a great idea to send out Thanksgiving cards...they'd actually get done and in the mail before Christmas madness sets in. Blessed.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Beautiful lens. 5*

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 8 years ago

      We celebrate with friends and family and going to a Thanksgiving Service at our church! Great lens... reminds you to be thankful for everything in your life! 5*s!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 8 years ago from West Virginia

      I like the idea of sending out Thanksgiving cards of what and who you're thankful for. :-)


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