Celebrating Thanksgiving

How much so ever we are miles apart, how much different cultures be…..something remains the same everywhere-reverence to that God. The ways might differ to offer, to prayer but the sole purpose remains the same remain blessed by that Almighty. The days might differ, the occasions may differ, the name with which they are called are different but celebration in the name of that omnipresent for all what he has bestowed on us remains same.

We celebrate Lohri in North india, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Onam in Kerala, Bihu in Assam, Baisakhi in Punjab; all with same purpose of giving a good harvest this season. We thank God for all his bestowing and various gifts he has endowed with us. And this doesn’t changes when you cross seven seas even. And Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated in US and Canada with same purpose. With this Globalisation thing booming up, the world has shrunk so fast that we have crossed the barriers that might have existed once. But with this comes the onus to know other cultures as well and respect them dually. So why not this November let us dig into the Thanksgiving festival of the west that is now celebrated with equal zeal in rest of the world too.

Thanksgiving is celebrated on second Monday of October in Canada and forth Thursday of November in US. This festival lays its origin in European culture when festivals were celebrated before and after harvest season and rejoice together after much hard work with rest of the community. Thanksgiving Day is a day of Communal celebration and a day of responsibility when people thank for all the good bestowed on them in this life. This is done by offering prayers, gifting near and dear ones and having meals together.

There are certain traditions that followed during Thanksgiving such as Family reunion and Feasting, Tradition of Turkey, Parades and Football games. The entire family sits together for the dinner and offer prayer to Almighty for what all he has given to us and his continuous grace. The traditional stuffed Turkey adorns every dining table without which the celebration is incomplete. That is a different thing that nobody knows if it was the part of the celebration the very first time when Thanksgiving was celebrated. Parades became part of the celebration when Abraham Lincoln declared it as an official celebration. The full dress parade is a way to display country’s military strength and discipline. The sole motto is to lift the spirits of the spectators and entertain them to the most. Parades are accompanied with musical shows and celebrities. There is a vibe everywhere that entices you to just breathe the festivity with full fervor.

This has come up as a communal gesture celebrated all over the world. In a communal effort to bring all the people close to each other and disown hatred and enmity towards each other year 2000 was declared as international year of Thanksgiving by United Nations. This serves the purpose of fostering cultural relations among different countries.

It is a day when there is sweetness all around. People convey their love to the near and dear ones. People send loving messages and warm wishes to near ones and relatives.  How can we forget the brightest part of celebrations i.e. decoration? Homes as well as churches are decorated. In India, Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated in Goa with full pomp and show under the name Ladin or Ladainha.

So wherever you go the basic values and traditions of mankind just do not change and this is what connects us all throughout. This is the biggest indication that whatever be the present scenario, we all have one origin, one root. We are just the off shoots of various cultures and liberties.  And festivals like this give us a genuine reason to rejoice in the name that one Almighty and be one. There is so much in this world to earn but nothing like earning unanimity all over the globe, the oneness that defies all hatred accumulated over years and ages.

Karanvir Gupta