It’s Thanksgiving. Which means it’s autumn. Which means it’s the harvest time. Which means rejoicing and being thankful. But also that some 17th century British Christians landed on a rock and then feasted with the local natives with the help of a native interpreter?
In the past, nations would toil and pray every year for a bountiful harvest at the end of the summer so they would have enough to eat during the winter. In continental climates (regions with hot summers and freezing winters), this was a natural and common concern.
In such a situation, a successful harvest was very much cause for joy and merrymaking. Let’s look at five countries’ holiday traditions and see what makes each one a little bit different.
1. Japan: Thanksgiving and Labor
On November 23rd, the Japanese commemorate Labor Thanksgiving Day. People give thanks for their productivity and their workers. Although the holiday has roots in the Shinto harvest ceremony Niiname-sai, it was actually instated by law during the post-World War II American occupation of Japan.
2. Germany: A Bucolic Thanksgiving For the Interpreter
The Erntedankfest, or the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival, takes place in the Urdenbach borough of the city of Düsseldorf. It’s a Christian harvest festival that is celebrated every first Sunday of October. Autumnal crops are arranged in remarkably artful ways to decorate streets, public buildings, and procession cars.
3. Mexico: Say a Thanksgiving Prayer
Mexico’s close proximity with the United States has resulted in the adoption of the Thanksgiving holiday, called by locals: Día de Acción de Gracias. Given the deep-set Roman Catholic belief system, Thanksgiving is taken as an overtly religious holiday. And, oftentimes, they will roast a pig rather than a turkey!
4. Rwanda: Age-Old Thanksgiving Tradition
In Rwanda, Thanksgiving correlates to Umuganura Day, observed on the first Friday of August. The celebration traces back over a thousand years as the mark of the beginning of the harvest season. Today, about 80% of Rwandans work in agriculture, making it a holiday of great national meaning.
5. USA: An Interpreter Saves Thanksgiving
In the year 1620, 102 people landed on Plymouth Rock (in modern-day Massachusetts) on a ship called the Mayflower. They were British Separatists fleeing prosecution, but we commonly refer to them as Pilgrims. In the unfamiliar, already-occupied land, the odds of survival were stacked against the group from the start.
These Europeans would ultimately survive through trade and collaboration with Native American tribes. This liaison was possible because of two Natives who spoke English as a foreign language: Samoset and, more famously, Tisquantum, also known as Squanto, who spoke English fluently and provided language interpreting.
Thanksgiving Translation in Every Language
Professional language service is how we do business with our neighbors, how we market our products and services, how we expand international aid and immigration law translation. But it is also how we fraternize, bond, and share what we are grateful for with our global community.
Contact us with your language needs and forge connections with international reach.
Thank you for joining us! Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Language Connections!
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is one of the top language service companies in the US. Over the last 30 years, we’ve focused on providing the best business translation services, interpreting services, as well as interpreter training and customized language training programs. In addition to top-tier corporate language training, we offer certified corporate interpreters and professional business translation services in 200+ languages. Our network includes linguists with backgrounds in all major industries. They’re ready to meet your needs, whether they’re for technical translation services, legal translation, government translation services, international development translation services, education translation services, life sciences translation, or something else. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our cost-efficient and timely translation services, interpreters, or other linguistic services.
Language Connections LLC
2001 Beacon Street, Suite 105,
Boston, MA 02135