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In the West African country of Liberia, which began in with the colonization of freed black slaves Americo-Liberians from the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the first Thursday of November. Many of the Pilgrims who migrated to the Plymouth Plantation had resided in the city of Leiden from —, and had recorded their births, marriages, and deaths at the Pieterskerk St. To commemorate this, a non-denominational Thanksgiving Day service is held each year on the morning of the American Thanksgiving Day in the Pieterskerk, a Gothic church in Leiden, noting the hospitality the Pilgrims received in Leiden on their way to the New World.

It is not a public holiday. Those who observe the day either only go to church in the evening or take the day off and go to church in the morning and occasionally afternoon too. The Philippines, while it was an American colony in the first half of the 20th century, celebrated Thanksgiving as a special public holiday on the same day as the Americans. After Japanese withdrawal in , the tradition continued until It was revived by President Ferdinand Marcos , but on every September 21, when martial law was imposed in the country.

After Marcos' ouster in , the tradition was no longer continued. Thanksgiving, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in , has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Historically, Thanksgiving has traditionally been a celebration of the blessings of the year, including the harvest. In Reform Judaism , there is no hindrance to celebrating Thanksgiving, since it is regarded as a secular celebration rather than religious or gentile. The festival has a significant religious component, and unlike its North American counterpart, it usually does not include large dinners. Many churches get decorated with autumn crops, beautifully arranged in front of the altar.

In some places, there are religious processions or parades. Many Bavarian beer festivals, like the Munich Oktoberfest , take place within the vicinity of Erntedankfest. The United States has observed German-American Day annually on October 6, within the vicinity of Erntedankfest, from until the early s, then again from to the present day. It takes place annually on November The law establishing the holiday, which was adopted during the American occupation after World War II, cites it as an occasion for commemorating labor and production and giving one another thanks.

The Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving does not have an official date in the United Kingdom; however, it is traditionally held on or near the Sunday of the harvest moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. Harvest Thanksgiving in Britain also has pre-Christian roots when the Saxons would offer the first sheaf of barley, oats, or wheat to fertility gods. When the harvest was finally collected, communities would come together for a harvest supper. It is a four-day festival, which according to the Gregorian calendar is normally celebrated from January 14 to January The festival is mainly celebrated to convey appreciation to the Sun God for a successful harvest.

Part of the celebration is the boiling of the first rice of the season consecrated to the Sun - the Surya Maangalyam. The origins of the Thai Pongal festival may date to more than years ago. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Thanksgiving disambiguation. List of harvest festivals. Retrieved 6 October The Virginia Historical Society. Retrieved November 29, How Christianity Changed the World. Retrieved January 30, Their leader, Governor William Bradford, issued a formal proclamation commanding the people to give thanks to God for having received divine protection during a terrible winter and for having received their first harvest.

It was also new that the Pilgrims celebrated their thanksgiving by eating wild turkey an indigenous bird and venison. Archived from the original on January 13, Retrieved September 11, Making Haste From Babylon: The origins of Canadian and American political differences. Retrieved October 16, The American Presidency Project. Retrieved November 24, National Council for Science and the Environment. Retrieved September 5, According to Yanovski et al. According to Chen et al. Some stores and shopping malls advertise their Christmas merchandise beginning after Halloween or even in late October, alongside Halloween items.

In the UK and Ireland, Christmas food generally appears on supermarket shelves as early as September or even August, while the Christmas shopping season itself starts from mid November when the high street Christmas lights are switched on. The precise definition of feasts and festival days that are encompassed by the Christmas and holiday season has become controversial in the United States over recent decades. While in other countries the only holidays included in the "season" are Christmas Eve , Christmas Day, St.

The exchange of gifts is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and the season thus also incorporates a "holiday shopping season". This comprises a peak time for the retail sector at the start of the holiday season the "Christmas shopping season" and a period of sales at the end of the season, the "January sales". Although once dedicated mostly to white sales and clearance sales , the January sales now comprise both winter close-out sales and sales comprising the redemption of gift cards given as presents. January is a key part of the holiday season.

Many people find this time particularly stressful. More than half of it was spent on family shopping. It is traditionally considered to commence on the day after American Thanksgiving , a Friday colloquially known as either Black Friday or Green Friday. This is widely reputed to be the busiest shopping day of the entire calendar year.

18. Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling – Cooper’s Hill, UK

However, in the VISA credit card organization reported that over the previous several years VISA credit card spending had in fact been 8 to 19 percent higher on the last Saturday before Christmas Day i. According to a survey by the Canadian Toy Association, peak sales in the toy industry occur in the Christmas and holiday season, but this peak has been occurring later and later in the season every year.

In , the kick-off to the Christmas and holiday season for online shopping , the first Monday after US Thanksgiving, was named Cyber Monday. Although it was a peak, that was not the busiest on-line shopping day of that year. The busiest on-line shopping days were December 12 and 13, almost two weeks later; the second Monday in December has since become known as Green Monday. Another notable day is Free Shipping Day, a promotional day that serves as the last day in which a person can order a good online and have it arrive via standard shipping the price of which the sender pays prior to Christmas Eve; this day is usually on or near December They attribute this to people "shopping in stores and malls on the weekends, and [ So they recommended that retailers manage their inventories for the entire holiday shopping season, with a leaner inventory at the start and new winter merchandise for the January sales.

What Are You Thankful For This Thanksgiving?

On the basis of the growing popularity of gift certificates, he states that "To get a true picture of holiday sales, one may consider measuring October, November, December and January sales combined as opposed to just November and December sales. According to the Deloitte Holiday Survey, [42] for the fourth straight year, gift cards are expected to be the top gift purchase in , with more than two-thirds 69 percent of consumers surveyed planning to buy them, compared with 66 percent in In addition, holiday shoppers are planning to buy even more cards this year: One in six consumers 16 percent plan to buy 10 or more cards, compared with 11 percent last year.

Consumers are also spending more in total on gift cards and more per card: Gift cards continue to grow in acceptance: Also, resistance to giving gift cards continues to decline: Consumers said that the cards are popular gifts for adults, teens and children alike, and almost half 46 percent intend to buy them for immediate family; however, they are hesitant to buy them for spouses or significant others, with only 14 percent saying they plan to buy them for those recipients. Some stores in Canada hold Boxing Week sales before the end of the year for income tax purposes.

What has become known as "Christmas creep" refers to a merchandising phenomenon in which merchants and retailers exploit the commercialized status of Christmas by moving up the start of the holiday shopping season.

Daily Calendar September, New Years, holidays at Holiday Insights

The term is not used in the UK and Ireland, where retailers call Christmas the "golden quarter", that is, the three months of October through December is the quarter of the year in which the retail industry hopes to make the most profit. In the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, the Christmas shopping season starts from mid-November, around the time when high street Christmas lights are turned on.

The Netherlands and Belgium have a double holiday. The first one, the arrival of the Bishop Saint Nicholas and Black Peter, starts about mid November, with presents being given on December 5 or 6. Netherlands and Belgium often do not start the Christmas season until December 6 or 7, i. In France, the January sales are restricted by legislation to no more than four weeks in Paris , and no more than six weeks for the rest of the country, usually beginning on the first Wednesday in January, and are one of only two periods of the year when retailers are permitted to hold sales.

In Italy, the January sales begin on the first weekend in January, and last for at least six weeks. The January sales period starts on December 27 and can last up to 60 days. In Germany, the Winterschlussverkauf winter sale before the season ends was one of two official sales periods the other being the Sommerschlussverkauf , the summer sales.

It begins on the last Monday in January and lasts for 12 days, selling left-over goods from the holiday shopping season, as well as the winter collections. However, unofficially, goods are sold at reduced prices by many stores throughout the whole of January. By the time the sales officially begin the only goods left on sale are low-quality ones, often specially manufactured for the sales.

However, voluntary sales still called "Winterschlussverkauf" take place further on in most stores at the same time every year. In Sweden, where the week of the first Advent Sunday marks the official start of the Christmas and holiday season, continuing with Saint Lucy's Day on December 13, followed up by Christmas before the Mellandagsrea between days sell off traditionally begins on December 27 nowadays often December 26 or even December 25 and lasts during the rest of the Christmas holiday. It is similar to Black Friday , but lasts longer.

They last 34—35 days.

Christmas and holiday season

Black Friday itself has also gained publicity in Sweden since the earlys. The Swedish Christmas and holiday season continues over Epiphany , and finally ends on St. Knut's Day when the children have a Knut's party. In Bosnia Republika Srpska , Montenegro and Serbia, holiday sales starts in the middle of December and last for at least one month. Hong Kong, China has a lot of seasonal activities and traditions to offer around Christmas time. December 25 and 26 are Public Holidays that makes most shops open for shopping. Locals and tourists love to watch the meter Swarovski Christmas tree in the Central as well as the Christmas light displays on buildings on Victoria Harbour.

The Philippines has the longest Christmas season , reportedly.

All over the entire country, parols star shaped lanterns are hung everywhere and lights are lit. Simbang Gabi or dawn masses start December 16 and run for nine days up until Christmas Eve. According to the Washington Post , "Koreans prefer cash Christmas gifts over more creative presents. Singapore widely celebrates Christmas which is a Public Holiday in this country. For six weeks, mid-November to early January, the 2.

A selection of goodwill greetings are often used around the world to address strangers, family, colleagues or friends during the season. Some greetings are more prevalent than others, depending on culture and location. In the mid-to-late 20th century in the United States, more generic greetings such as "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings" began to rise in cultural prominence, and this would later spread to other Western countries including Canada, Australia and to a lesser extent some European countries.

The greetings and farewells "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Christmas" are traditionally used in English-speaking countries, starting a few weeks before Christmas December 25 each year. These greetings and their equivalents in other languages are popular not only in countries with large Christian populations but also in the largely non-Christian nations of China and Japan, where Christmas is celebrated primarily due to cultural influences of predominantly Christian countries. They have somewhat decreased in popularity in the United States and Canada in recent decades, but polls in indicated that they remained more popular than "Happy Holidays" or other alternatives.

The same phrase is contained in the title of the English carol " We Wish You a Merry Christmas ," and also appears in the first commercial Christmas card , produced by Henry Cole in England in The word Merry was then beginning to take on its current meaning of "jovial, cheerful, jolly and outgoing". The cynical Ebenezer Scrooge rudely deflects the friendly greeting: A merry Christmas to everybody! The alternative "Happy Christmas" gained usage in the late 19th century, and in the UK and Ireland is a common spoken greeting, along with "Merry Christmas".


  • An English Dictionary With AB Indicator and Frequency!
  • Lists of holidays.
  • Thanksgiving.
  • The Handbook of Hispanic Sociolinguistics (Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics).

One reason may be the Victorian middle class influence in attempting to separate wholesome celebration of the Christmas season from public insobriety and associated asocial behaviour, at a time when merry also meant "intoxicated" — Queen Elizabeth II is said to prefer "Happy Christmas" for this reason. Nicholas " , the final line, originally written as "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night", has been changed in many later editions to "Merry Christmas to all", perhaps indicating the relative popularity of the phrases in the US. In the United States, "Happy Holidays" along with the similarly generalized "Season's Greetings" has become a common holiday greeting in the public sphere of department stores, public schools and greeting cards.

The increasing usage of "Happy Holidays" has been the subject of some controversy in the United States. Millions of Mooncakes -- flaky, round, semi-sweet pastries -- are given as gifts during this celebration. Pongal is a 4-day festival celebrated January 12th through the 15th, to mark the beginning of the end of the winter season in India.

The second day, Surya Pongal, is the most important day of the festival. On this day, people throw their old clothes into the fire, have an oil massage and then wear new clothes, to worship Surya, the sun god. During the festival, cattle are bathed, dressed and served pongal rice boiled in milk , women of the house perform puja for the prosperity of their brothers, and families decorate their floor with decorative patterns using rice flour.

The Crop Over, a traditional harvest festival in Barbados, features singing, dancing, climbing a greased pole, feasting, drinking competitions and a calypso music competition.

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