Thanksgiving Around the World

November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving has been officially celebrated in the US since 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday of November a public holiday. However it dates back to an earlier, three-day celebration in 1621 when English settlers, known as pilgrims, gave thanks to God for their first harvest in the New World. Foods from their harvest, like cranberries, corn and root vegetables, were shared with the Native Americans who introduced these indigenous crops. These same foods are still shared on the modern US dinner table. And of course, we can't forget the turkey. More than 90 percent of Americans will eat Turkey on Thanksgiving Day [source: Scripps Howard News Service].

Thanksgiving-CultureThe idea of giving thanks and the theme of the harvest are universally recognized across cultures. Ancient Greeks and Romans honored their respective goddesses of corn and grain in a three-day autumn festival. In Asia, modern Chinese families, like their ancestors, welcome the harvest moon with feasts and moon cakes during the Chung Ch'ui festival. And in India, especially in Goa, Thanksgiving is known as 'Ladin' or 'Ladainha' and is the holiday when Indian families give thanks for their material and spiritual blessings.

Though it started out as a secular event, modern day Thanksgiving has evolved into a celebration synonymous with food, family and American football... and of course, in recent years, the US Black Friday shopping frenzy. Though consumerism has seeped in a bit, Thanksgiving is still personally my favorite holiday for the simple reason that it is founded on gratitude. It is a time when we think less of ourselves and more of others.


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In that vein, we at GPI would like to pause this week and give thanks to the businesses and people we've had the opportunity to work with this year. Like localization, gratitude knows no boundaries. Happy Thanksgiving!

To learn more about Thanksgiving traditions around the world, see:

Further cultural correctness and localization resources

You may also find some of the following articles and links useful:

Further Information on Localization Resources

For more information or help with your next website translation project, please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail at, or by phone at (866) 272-5874, or by requesting a free web translation quote for your next website translation project.

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Hebatullah Mahmoud Nady (Heba) is a native Arabic speaker who lives in Cairo, Egypt. She has 11 years of experience in client relations and project management, working in different industries, such as publishing, oil and gas and foremost translation and localization. Heba holds a B.A. degree in English Language and Literature from Ain Shams University, and has a great passion for language and culture. She has been actively managing many localization and translation projects for major clients since 2008 and is well versed in a wide range of localization tools and practices. Heba enjoys working with teams from different cultures and bringing people together to achieve a common goal. For her translation is a mission that contributes to enriching Arabic and other cultures and languages. In her free time, Heba likes to read about literature and management, and go site-seeing.