Thanksgiving Around the World

November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving has been officially celebrated in the US since 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday of November a public holiday. However it dates back to an earlier, three-day celebration in 1621 when English settlers, known as pilgrims, gave thanks to God for their first harvest in the New World. Foods from their harvest, like cranberries, corn and root vegetables, were shared with the Native Americans who introduced these indigenous crops. These same foods are still shared on the modern US dinner table. And of course, we can't forget the turkey. More than 90 percent of Americans will eat Turkey on Thanksgiving Day [source: Scripps Howard News Service].


Thanksgiving-CultureThe idea of giving thanks and the theme of the harvest are universally recognized across cultures. Ancient Greeks and Romans honored their respective goddesses of corn and grain in a three-day autumn festival. In Asia, modern Chinese families, like their ancestors, welcome the harvest moon with feasts and moon cakes during the Chung Ch'ui festival. And in India, especially in Goa, Thanksgiving is known as 'Ladin' or 'Ladainha' and is the holiday when Indian families give thanks for their material and spiritual blessings.


Though it started out as a secular event, modern day Thanksgiving has evolved into a celebration synonymous with food, family and American football... and of course, in recent years, the US Black Friday shopping frenzy. Though consumerism has seeped in a bit, Thanksgiving is still personally my favorite holiday for the simple reason that it is founded on gratitude. It is a time when we think less of ourselves and more of others.



In that vein, we at GPI would like to pause this week and give thanks to the businesses and people we've had the opportunity to work with this year. Like localization, gratitude knows no boundaries. Happy Thanksgiving!


To learn more about Thanksgiving traditions around the world, see:


Further cultural correctness and localization resources


You may also find some of the following articles and links useful:


Further Information on Localization Resources


For more information or help with your next website translation project, please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail at, or by phone at (866) 272-5874, or by requesting a free web translation quote for your next website translation project.

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Shigeru Tsutsumi is a native Japanese speaker with 20+ year’s extensive experience in the translation & localization industry. He has held a variety of language, technology and management positions including managing director japan, business development manager, translator, software localization specialist, QA lead, and senior localization project manager with firms including Cisco, Intel, Linguistic Systems, The Big Word and Welocalize. He is a Washington State University alumni and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. He has spent many years in the Pacific Northwest (USA) and has traveled and worked throughout Europe and Japan. He has a comprehensive awareness, understanding and respect of global business practices between US and Japan, as well as many other countries. He enjoys spending time with his family both in the USA and Japan as well as reading, cooking, traveling, running, working out, snow skiing and playing Rugby.