“Erntedankfest” is not Thanksgiving

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: People eat 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 having a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. I’ll just close my eyes and pretend that my (half of the) family is there, too.

  1. oh my gosh! did you have to make me hungry right before bed? that sounds so awesome!!! wow!!! sorry you missed it, but so did i. haha. big hug!!! what are you guys doing tomorrow?

  2. i guess your family is a big exeption of celebrating erndtedankfest. i don’t know any of my friends who celebrate it with a turkey. nor my family does. but i think it’s cool to get together and make it an event. happy turkey day to you today.

  3. one year ago today we were having turkey together in long beach *sigh* good times!

    luckily we will have turkey again this year, too. tomorrow i’m making a thanksgiving dinner for C, my brother and his gf (not a whole bird but two “putenkeulen” instead) and on sunday we’re invited to a thanksgiving dinner at a friend of C’s (also from long beach) in oldenburg. that’ll be even more fun because all i have to do is sit down and eat :D

    have a great thanksgiving, sweety. i miss you! xoxoxo

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the family time and delicious food and in no time at all you will be having Christmas dinner with your side of the family!

  5. Turkey dinner gabs bei uns nie. Ich kenne nur das traditionelle Gänseessen um Sankt Martin herum. Lecker! Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner today!!

  6. We never did this at home and I have actually never heard of anyone else doing it either. Might be a regional thing?!

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