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Thanksgiving Day celebrations in Germany are mainly confined to rural areas. Read on to know more about German Thanksgiving festivities.

Thanksgiving In Germany

In Germany, Thanksgiving is a harvest festival known as Erntedankfest. Its celebrations have been a long standing tradition in not only Germany, but the other German-speaking countries of Europe as well. In Germany, Thanksgiving is mainly a rural celebration, with religious significance. In the large cities of country, it is more a part of church services. Thanksgiving Celebrations in Germany are starkly different from the big traditional family celebrations in the US. Thanksgiving is not even a national holiday in Germany. Still, German Thanksgiving can find close resemblance with the Canadian way of celebrating the harvest festival.

A typical Thanksgiving celebration in Germany is organized at Berlin's Evangelisches Johannesstift Berlin (church). It is an all-day celebration, held in late September. After the church service, a fest begins at 10 in the morning. At around 2 in the noon, a Thanksgiving procession is also held. The procession concludes with the presenting of a harvest crown, known as Erntekrone. Music, dance and food, inside and outside the church, take place at 3 pm. An evening service, followed by a lantern and torch parade, is fixed at 6 in the evening. Fireworks are seen in the sky, with the ending of the parade. The church ceremonies and celebrations end at around 7 p.m.

Over the past few decades, German Thanksgiving has started borrowing much from the American Thanksgiving. Turkey has become quite a popular dish, which is now widely available in Germany and also the other German-speaking countries of Europe. In fact, Turkey has gradually replaced the traditional goose on special occasions in Germany. Despite of developing evident leanings towards the American way of celebrating Thanksgiving, in Germany, it is not a big day of family feasting and get-togethers that are symbolic of Thanksgiving in US. In other words, it is not strictly considered as a family celebration in the country.