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Here, a look at other agriculturally-based festivals around the world:.

Traditional Thanksgiving Meal, With Modern Shortcuts

Canadian Thanksgiving Our neighbors to the north actually celebrated Thanksgiving before Pilgrims even landed in Plymouth, Mass. The earlier date is due to the fact that Canada's Thanksgiving is more aligned with European harvest festivals, which traditionally occur in October.

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In addition, Canada is farther north, which means its harvest season ends earlier than America's. According to legend, the moon is at its brightest and roundest on this day, and may inspire rekindled friendship or romance. But the three-day celebration isn't just about food and death.

7 harvest festivals around the world that make Thanksgiving look boring

Its roof is thinly covered with branches, admitting sunlight, starlight, wind, and rain, reminding of us the precariousness of our existence in the face of the forces of nature. But the sukkah is also a powerful reminder of the many reasons for which we feel grateful to God, not the least of which is the fact that for the other fifty-one weeks of the year most of us are blessed to have solid roofs over our heads, clothes to wear, and food enough to fill our bellies.

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Such was not always the case for the Pilgrims, who often contended with illness, meager rations, disappointed hopes, and death. In order to remember those harsh times and maintain their gratitude for the plenty they now enjoyed, some New Englanders started the custom of putting five kernels of corn on each plate at their feast.

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  4. There is a strong thread which runs from the Israelite wilderness experience to that of the Pilgrims and the harsh years they endured as they strove to sink roots in this new land. That they should rejoice and give thanks at harvest time was as natural an impulse for the Pilgrims as it was for the ancient Israelites.

    6 Thanksgiving celebrations around the world

    But Thanksgiving and Sukkot come to remind us that there is far more to be grateful for in this world than a bounteous crop. Both of these splendid holidays encourage us to stop and acknowledge the manifold blessings God bestows upon us each and every day.

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    And whether we accomplish that stock-taking over a slice of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie or beneath the leafy branches of a sukkah roof — or both — we understand and embrace the impulse which inspired our Pilgrim and our Israelite ancestors. Skip to content Find a Rabbi. Newsletter Sign Up.

    Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship.