Even though those two German and US “holidays” are loosely connected, they’re not the same.
“Erntedankfest” means Harvest Thanksgiving Festival which is usually “celebrated” on the first weekend in October. I put “celebrated” in quotation mark because in no way, shape or form is “Erntedankfest” a real holiday with a specific date, nor is it celebrated in any particular way, sometimes it’s not celebrated at all.
While Thanksgiving has become a national secular holiday in the US with religious origins, but mainly an opportunity to gather with family and to express thanks for one’s material and spiritual possessions, in Germany it remains a Church festival giving thanks to God for the harvest.
One thing they have in common:Â People eatÂ turkey.
Or at least in my family it has become tradition to make a turkey once a year during the harvest season. It’s always a very highly anticipated event, not only because of good company, but also because of the delicious food.
Traditionally, the side-dishes my Mom prepares for that meal are
– red cabbage,
– brussels sprouts,
– stuffing, and
– bread dumplings (made from scratch!) and potato dumplings with gravy.
Desserts might vary, but might be
– semolina pudding with red current syrup,
– baked apples with vanilla sauce, or
– ice cream with hot cherries.
Sigh. Of course, this year I already missed the turkey dinner with my family. They told me all about it, but I was still missing the deliciousness in my mouth.
At least, I will be havingÂ a Thanksgiving dinnerÂ tomorrow. I’ll just close my eyes and pretend that my (half of the) family is there, too.