Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving in Germany, Austria, & Switzerland

Photo of church altar Erntedank display
courtesy Elena Kortels and

Thanksgiving celebrations in Germany and other German-speaking countries occur in September or October, sometimes as late as November, and are not "official" holidays like they are in the United States.  In both large cities and small towns, Thanksgiving, called Erntedankfest (Harvest Thanksgiving Festival), is a celebration hosted by Christian churches.  In rural towns there may also be a parade and a country-fair type of celebration, including dancing and the crowning of a harvest queen.  Unless they live in rural areas or are church-goers, many Germans only experience Erntedankfest by seeing it on television.

For more information, see the website, and the German Holidays page of the Tulane University website.

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