We Aren’t the Only Ones Who Celebrate Thankfulness! Freedom Gobel
Thanksgiving is somewhat of a big deal for Americans. Many would associate this holiday with turkey, family, and of course, football. November reminds pumpkin pie die hards of the traditions and warm hearted nature of the season, but have you wondered what other countries do to celebrate thankfulness, if they do at all? Though the customs may not be aligned, more countries than not celebrate appreciation and fall harvest. The history of these holidays may be polar opposites, but common human values remain intact within each celebration.
China: The Mid Autumn Harvest
The Chinese equivalent to Thanksgiving is the Mid Autumn Harvest, celebrated in the eighth and ninth lunar months, starting on the 15th of the eighth and lasting a month. Much of this holiday involves worshipping the moon, which created the traditional mooncake, a delicacy shared with friends and family. Many dances are held, encouraging unmarried individuals to mingle and meet new people. This month is filled with festivities including catching lanterns, burning incense, planting mid autumn trees, fire dragon dances, and most importantly giving thanks.
In Korea, a three day celebration is held in September or October called Chuseok. The purpose of this holiday is to honor ancestors and to show the importance of family. Days before the event, women across the country gather necessary ingredients: rice, apples, pears, juju beans, chestnuts, sesame seeds, and pine needles. The most traditional dish made for this event is called song pyun, a Korean rice cake with the secret ingredient: steamed pine needles. Infact, it’s not uncommon for grandmothers and mother to say to their children, “Girls who make pretty song pyun will have pretty daughters”, and girls are taught at a young age. Food is prepared for the entire holiday by women, and the leftovers are taken to the graves of ancestors to show thanks.
Erntedankfest is the Thanksgiving of Germany, literally translating to ‘harvest thanksgiving festival’. It is typically celebrated on the first Sunday of October, but there is no official date. This German holiday is sponsored by the Protestant and Catholic church, and includes multiple services throughout the day. A traditional practice is to present the Erntekönigin, or harvest queen, with the Erntekrone, or harvest crown. Music, dancing, and food are on every corner in the major cities, and the farewell to the holiday is marked by a torch parade or a firework show. Leftover food is distributed to those less fortunate than most.
Brazil: Dia de Acao de Gracas
‘Dia de Acao de Gracas’ is ‘Thanksgiving Day’ in Portuguese. This day is mainly about expressing appreciation to God, and thanking the higher power for an abundant harvest. The majority of the Brazilian population will attend Christian masses and offer prayers throughout the day, followed by a feast much like America’s traditional display: Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and jaboticaba sauce (a substitute for cranberry due to the unavailability). Brazilian Thanksgivings are recognized around the world for their extravagant, lively carnivals.
Of course the celebration list doesn’t stop here. Learn more about different cultures and the similarities connecting them. Expansion of perspective is never a bad thing, and in this case, learning about unique holidays allows more celebration of them. Why have one Thanksgiving when you could have five?
Sources: "Thanksgiving In Brazil - Traditions & Celebrations." I Love India. 2014. Web. "Thanksgiving in Germany | The German Way & More." German-Way. 2016. Web. Kim, Eun Mee. "Chuseok: The Korean Thanksgiving | Center for Global ..." Asia Society. 2016. Web. Vita Sgarlato, Lauren. "The Chinese Thanksgiving: Mid Autumn Festival 2012."Tha Holiday” (Southeast Asia). 2012. Web
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How do you even decorate for Thanksgiving?! Callie Spice
There are a couple staple holidays that everyone decorates for… but what about Thanksgiving? It’s a highly celebrated holiday, but not a highly decorated for holiday. It’s easier to decorate for Thanksgiving than one might think
#1: Stick to a color theme. Just like other holidays, Thanksgiving, too, has a color theme. Halloween has orange and black, Christmas has red and green and Thanksgiving has red, orange, brown, and maroon. Consisting of the colors of fall, sticking to this theme will make it easier to ensure all the decorations coordinate rather than clash.
#2: Goodwill is your best friend! These decorations will only be used once a year, so why spend a ton of money on simple decor and trinkets? Goodwill has good prices and the most random things you’d never thought you’d need. Not diss to Target, but many people can’t afford to pay so much for so little. For those who aren’t crafty and aren’t comfortable making their own decorations, head to your local Goodwill and you’ll find many useful decorations for a reasonable price.
#3: Nature! Let nature inspire your decorations. Look outside and you’ll see leaves, pumpkins, gourds and apples. Use them to your advantage! Gather little gourds and pumpkins and use them as a centerpiece. Use the leaves and create a wreath or even string them together to hang on a wall.
#4: Candles. Decorations don’t have to be physically seen. Light a nice candle, like apple cinnamon, and wait for the scent to spread. Just smelling fall will make it feel more like Thanksgiving!
#5: Lastly, keep it simple. Fall is a time of tranquility and peace. No one wants their house cluttered with overly complicated, large decorations. Simple is better. Even the smallest of decorations, such as signs or pictures, will help to get you in the spirit this Thanksgiving.
5 of the Weirdest Thanksgiving Traditions Maysa Saadeddin
When you think of Thanksgiving, you might imagine a quiet family eating a beautiful feast with a turkey in the center of the table, however that’s not the case in some houses. On someone's Thanksgiving table you may see a turkey, while others see a turducken. Your family might stay home to celebrate Thanksgiving, while others go to a buffet that is open for non-family members. Although these might be weird traditions, you might still find them interesting and try it for yourself.
Thanksgiving is mostly known for having a turkey as the main dish at the feast. The turkey is usually the symbol of Thanksgiving, but it isn’t the only dish that is served as the protein. The turducken is an unusual dish to have at Thanksgiving. A turducken is a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. Unbelievable, yet true, the turducken is the most known and made multi-animal dish. In Louisiana, the turducken is eaten more than any other state or country. If you think the dish is weird enough, the story behind the turducken could possibly change your mind. Chef Paul Prudhomme, who was a famous American chef was known for his Creole and Cajun cuisines. Even though Chef Prudhomme claimed to have created the turducken, sources such as New York Times have found sources other people that also claim to have been the creator. Unfortunately, the mystery of who the real creator of the turducken was continues.
Turkey pardoning is another weird Thanksgiving tradition that has been going on since the 1870s.Turkey pardoning is when a president from the U.S is gifted a turkey from the citizens. This tradition has been going on for decades. It began when a Rhode Island poultry dealer named Horace Vose started to give the White House turkeys. This gave publicity to his farm, and it grew to be a Thanksgiving tradition of the White House. After Vose had passed away, there were opportunities for other people to give the president a turkey. For example, in 1925 the first lady accepted a turkey from a girl scout. The turkey gifts later evolved to becoming a symbol of cheer. Turkey gifts are still being given to presidents, for example, President Obama got a turkey last Thanksgiving.
When you think of Thanksgiving, you most likely see families all come together in their own homes, however some families decide to celebrate Thanksgiving with non-family or visitors from their country. The Zion National park in Utah is the only park that gives residents and visitors a full Thanksgiving buffet. They also offer a hike to work off the filling buffet. It is all-day, free and opened to whoever wants to have a huge Thanksgiving feast.
It’s highly likely, you’ve seen videos or pictures on the news or social media of crowds fighting over items. Other than looking forward to food on Thanksgiving, people also are excited for the well known, but not official, holiday that is after Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, there is a huge sale known as Black Friday. This well-known sale is when crowds of customers are surrounded by huge sales along with special offers. Black Friday started in the 1960s, when retailers found that customers were very attracted to huge sales. The name Black Friday was made by using the old terms of red meaning no profit and black meaning profit. This might not seem like a weird tradition, however Black Friday has many aspects that do make it weird. One reason is that Black Friday is popular for being the first unofficial holiday shopping day. Another reason, would probably be the fact that thousands of people would do anything to get to the sale
After a huge Thanksgiving feast, some people might want to burn off the calories from the food. In the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Las Vegas, they have a annual turkey trot race. It's when people run a half-marathon to run off the calories from Thanksgiving. There are six tunnels for the runners to get across and after the race, families can enjoy the beautiful view of the Colorado River Bridge and the Hoover Dam.
Overall, Thanksgiving might seem like a normal holiday, but there are many unique ways everyone has to celebrate. These weird traditions can range from multi-animal dishes to giving turkey gifts to the president, or even higher. The best way to have fun on Thanksgiving is doing it your way. Some of these traditions are familiar or completely new to you. Hopefully, this has inspired you to make your own Thanksgiving tradition. Additionally, these traditions might be weird and strange, but they make Thanksgiving special.
Celebrating Genocide: The Unmentioned History of Thanksgiving Freedom Gobel
We’ve all been lied to. As children, and more unfortunately, as adults, we’re told the Thanksgiving story that covers up the real, dark history of genocide and enslavement of the indigenous people. It’s most commonly taught that Pilgrims arriving in the Americas in the 1620s encountered Wampanoag Native Americans, who taught the Pilgrims to plant and harvest corn, squash, and other necessary goods during the harsh winter season. The end result of the kindness offered by the Native Americans: The great Thanksgiving feast, in which the Pilgrims invited the Native Americans to celebrate good fortune, selflessness, and the great fall harvest coming from it. This meal is said to have lasted three days with food to no end. However, the truth lies far from the myth. The first Thanksgiving originates not in 1621, but 1637, and began not for gratitude, but murder.
Yes, in the 1620s Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts Bay, meeting Tisquantum (also known as Squanto), the seemingly sole survivor of the Patuxet Nation. Squanto was captured in the early 1610s along with other members of the Patuxet tribe by English explorers and sold to slavery in Europe. The remaining of the Patuxet tribe were killed by smallpox or a plague brought by English explorers. Squanto learned the English language while enslaved, and eventually escaped in 1619. As previously mentioned, Pilgrims found Squanto, and he helped them grow corn and farm fish. Shortly afterwards, Squanto negotiated a peace treaty with the Pilgrims and other Native tribes.
Word spread of luxury in the new world, luring Puritan Separatists (individuals looking to purify the Church of England, and eventually separating to build religion in foreign lands) and ordinary Englishman to America, which was considered public domain. Settlers seized Native land, captured those 14 or older for slaves, dug and robbed graves in Native American territory, and forced unfair trade. The Pequot Nation, a more powerful tribe, wouldn’t settle for these conditions, and continually showed resistance.
By May of 1637, tension had risen drastically between the Pequot Nation and the English. During the traditional ‘Green Corn Festival’, Native Americans in the Pequot territory celebrated the beginning of corn harvest. The night after the celebration, settlers surrounded the Native territory, calling for the men to gather outside. Those who followed instruction were brutally murdered- dismembered, beheaded, and stabbed upon arrival. The remaining population (mainly women and children) were trapped inside the living spaces and set on fire, dying of either suffocation or the scorching flames.
After this mass murder of 700 Pequot Native American men, women, and children, the Governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop, declared “A Day of Thanksgiving” for the victory and successful massacre. Finding great joy in these victories, the Europeans continued attacking and invading villages, feasting afterwards as tradition. The Wampanoag Chief was even beheaded and put on display as a reminder of power.
It's almost as if Americans celebrate these victories as well, but to this day, Thanksgiving is known by Native Americans across the nation as “A Day of Mourning”. Dating back to the early 17th century, you can see patterns of social power shifts. The minority (Europeans, mainly Englishmen), wiped out the majority (Native Americans) and became the more powerful in numbers, which to them meant greater ability and importance. To this day, we see the results of those shifts, and watch minority groups continue to be belittled. Native Americans still suffer as more and more is taken from them without permission. In North Dakota, the largest group of Native Americans has assembled in modern history, protesting the construction of the 1,172 mile Dakota Access oil pipeline for its disruption of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. No one should need to fight for what is already theirs.
Feasting and spending time with family is never a bad thing, but before sitting down to your turkey dinner and football game this year, think. Think about the suffering and merciless behavior that lead to this holiday and your participation in it. It's time the history is no longer a secret. Put a stop to the lies. Remember who was here first. Sources: Bates, Susan. “The Real Story of Thanksgiving.” Manataka American Indian Council. Web. https://www.manataka.org/page269.html
Cook, Roy. “Thanksgiving: A Day of Mourning.” American Indian Source. Metacom Education Project. Web. http://americanindiansource.com/mourningday.html
Barker, Joanne. "No Thanks: How Thanksgiving Narratives Erase the Genocide ..." Nov. 2015. Web. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/33781-no-thanks-how-thanksgiving-narratives-erase-the-genocide-of-native-upeoples
Lyubansky, Mikhail. "THE REAL STORY OF THE FIRST THANKSGIVING." JdStone. 2008. Web. http://jdstone.org/cr/files/therealstoryofthefirstthanksgiving.html
Different Perspectives on the science fair Maysa Saadeddin
The science fair has been going on for decades at many different schools. The purpose of the science fair is to encourage young minds to discover and answer scientific questions that haven’t been answered before. This also lets students learn the design cycle that they might need for future projects. Although Reagan’s involvement in the science fair hasn’t been around for long, students still have had enough time to formulate their own opinions about the science fair project.
The student body has mixed feelings on whether or not the science fair is a necessity for all high schoolers to go through. Amariah Epps stated,”I don’t think the science fair is necessary because it shouldn’t be a mandatory project. It should be something you choose to do.” Barbara Rodriguez agreed by saying that it doesn’t go with the other lessons we are being taught. In addition to Barbara's reasoning, Mia Herrera said it is too stressful and time consuming. Although they don’t think it’s necessary, other students had a different perspective on the topic. Mario Mendez admitted he didn’t personally like the science fair, however he still said it was necessary. He further explained by saying, it teaches students a variety of skills such as self-management and research skills. Paulina Rodriguez also thinks it is necessary specifically for people who are motivated to do the work.
As we have been told by teachers, the science fair is a requirement for all freshmen, though the students had a different point of view. The feedback was very mixed between the students. Mario Mendez and Paulina had the same answer by saying the science fair should be required for freshman and higher grades. He explained that the science fair teaches good skills that will also be helpful later in life. Paulina then added, “I think all grades should be required because if freshman do it, they would be more prepared what to do later in the future.” Amariah, Mia, and Barbara agree with each other that it shouldn't be required for all grades because we have more important priorities in school. “I don’t think it should be required for all grades in high school,” Amariah stated, “Not to make it sound like it isn’t important, but their are other things to worry about. For instance, the personal projects the sophomores have to do, is really important rather than the science fair.” Freshman might not see it yet, but the science fair helps them prepare for their personal projects by experiencing a long-term project.
Equally important as students’ opinions, the students also have a learning part of the science fair. The science fair is intended to be a good learning experience for the students. Most of the interviewed students believed they learned from the science fair. Amariah answered by saying, “You can learn new things about a scientific question you might have and learn from other people’s experiments.” Mario Mendez added that he learned about the skills he need to work on such as self-management. The organization of the science fair board set up helped Paulina learn how important organization is and how to make and how to separate a visual display into logical sections. Mia learned from the results of her experiment that age doesn’t necessarily affect your memory. Unfortunately, Barbara said she didn’t acquire new skills or learn while doing the science fair project.
For the science fair, the students have to create their own scientific question to do their experiment on. “My experiment was how does water have an affect on your brain?” Amariah stated. Barbara’s scientific question was, “Can video games increase focus in students?” Another very interesting project was Mario Mendez’s which was, “How does your feelings toward yourself intellectually affect your test scores.” Mia’s scientific question was, how does age affect memory? It was very interesting to her to see if we get older, does our memory get affected. Paulina’s experiment was very different then the rest, “..an earworm project.” She talked about it more in depth by saying, “An earworm is basically when someone listens to a song and the song gets stuck in their head.” The reasons why she chose the earworm project is because it was a home project, she barely had to buy anything, and it seemed very interesting to her.
The freshmen may be required to do the science fair, but would they still do it if they weren't required? “I wouldn't,” Amariah Epps answered,” Because I’m not interested in science and I'd rather focus on things that matter to my grades and that I enjoy.” Barbara later agreed saying, “I am not interested in science.” However there is always a different side, Mario thinks of how it would reflect well on himself if he did the science fair even though it is not required. He also said he would also do it if there was extra credit. Since this is her first time doing the science fair, Mia said she wouldn’t know what to test for the next experiment. If there was an alternative where students could work with partners, Paulina suggested, then she might consider doing the science fair.
Other than the students, the science teachers of Reagan also have their own opinions on the science fair. Luckily, Mr. Perez answered some questions about his point of view on the science fair. Inquiring about the teacher's perspective of the science fair, he was asked to define the science fair in his own words. “It’s when students get together to show off the research they did and share their information with the community.” Furthermore, Mr. Perez answered the same question the students had about his opinion on whether the science fair is a necessity or not. He answered by saying, it is a necessity, because it will prepare students for their personal projects they will have in their sophomore year.
Teachers want their students to learn valuable skills from projects like the science fair. They also want their students to make their own questions about the world and be able to find a method to get the answer. When asked if he enjoys seeing students make their own questions, Mr. Perez said, ““Of course, it’s my job.” He also stated he loves to see students become inquirers and wonder about the world. “When you were a little kid, you wondered about everything,” Mr. Perez said. According to him, the science fair forces students to use questions like, “How does this work?” and other why questions. The reason behind this is he believes at some point of time people stopped asking questions with deeper meaning and just go along with what they are told. To him, the science fair is when students can go ask complex and thought provoking questions. Along with wanting the students to learn valuable skills, Mr. Perez explained what the students can learn by participating in the science fair and why it is important. According to Mr. Perez, the science fair helps students “use the scientific method all the time without really realizing it.” Mr. Perez said the scientific method is an important skill to learn. “You often hear students say, I don’t like science, but yet every time you come across a problem you're basically doing the scientific method.”
The teachers always want to know what the students think about certain projects and how they feel. So, Mr.Perez was told what they student interviewees’ said about the science fair. Mr. Perez was very happy when he heard the statements about the necessity of the science fair from the students. He especially appreciated Mario Mendez’s response about how he doesn’t like the science fair but it is mandatory because of the learning aspect of the science fair. “It’s like eating broccoli, it’s not very enjoyable sometimes, but it’s necessary.” Mr. Perez said.
Since Reagan hasn’t been around as long as other MPS high schools, it was interesting to learn about how the science fair requirements changed overtime. For a long period of time at Reagan, the science fair was optional for students, Mr. Perez stated. Over time it then became required for all freshmen to do the science fair.
Students and teachers both have their opinions on the science fair. Some of the students think that the science fair shouldn't be necessary or required for all grades of high school. The other students believe it is needed to teach skills that will be used in the future. Mario learned skills he needs to work on, such as self management. The interviewees Paulina and Amariah learned skills like organization and how to write a lab report. Mia, Barbara and Amariah admitted they wouldn't do the science fair if it wasn't required. Although some students might not see the reason they must do it, the teachers always have a purpose. As Mr.Perez said, ’’Science is all around you…’’
How To Spread Thanks Jacqueline Jones
When the Fall season comes around and everyone is getting prepared for Thanksgiving, people start to ask themselves what they are thankful for. Some people may say that their thankful for their parents, the house that they live in, the clothes they have or even their education. Although many people don’t realize that others don’t have half of the things they have. The thing that is most important in the season is how to spread thanks.
Ways To Spread Thanks There are many ways to spread thanks when the season comes rolling around. There are always ways to make sure that the thanks and gratefulness that you feel is expressed through your actions by being kind towards others, giving to those in need and many other things.
Being kind towards others is something one should practice on a daily basis and not only when they are feeling thankful about the things they have.
Giving to those who are in need is also something that can be done at anytime but in cases when the season of giving comes around. There is a reflex that comes with wanting to help others. Many people do not have some of the things that many often take for granted and that is why it is so important that we remember that giving thanks by giving to others is not only something that should be done in the season of giving.
Maybe check around in your neighborhood and see if there are any food banks or soup kitchens that may need a few more volunteers. Giving a few old clothes or materials to a local homeless shelter can also make a big difference for someone who may need it. There are also much simpler ways to spread thanks such as just taking time out of your schedule to maybe help rake your neighbor's yard or help your parents around the house or spend the day helping out an elderly family member get around for a day.
The only key to spreading thanks is that it comes from the heart and you do it because you care or want to and not because you have to.
Diverse Delicacies: Thanksgiving Foods from Around the World Cheyenne Rupert
During the month of November, Americans tend to get excited for “Turkey Day”, or what is properly known as is Thanksgiving. But, Americans are not the only ones who have a big holiday to celebrate. Around the world, there are so many holidays and celebrations that are quite popular, that are not very widespread in America.
Lebanon: On November 22, Lebanon celebrates Independence Day with festivities and tasty foods. A specific dessert that many enjoy eating is Baklava, which is a sweet pastry that is filled with chopped sweetened nuts, and then held together with either syrup or honey.
Albania: On November 28, Albanian citizens celebrate Independence Day. A very popular dish is Spinach and Cheese Pie. Albanian pies are made out of very thin pastry leaves which typically are rolled out at home. Pastry leaves are laid inside the pan, and then spinach is put over the leaves. Salt and cheese are added over everything. It is completed by covering the spinach with any remaining pastry leaves.
Philippines: On November 30, the country celebrates Bonifacio Day, which is in remembrance of Andres Bonifacio. He is considered to be the father of the Philippine Revolution against Spanish Colonization. “Ilitsong manok sa saha ng saging” and “Tinapa”, are two famous dishes that were loved by the country’s leader, Bonifacio. They are typically served with onions, tomatoes, and salted eggs.
Scotland: On November 30, Scotland celebrates St. Andrew’s Day, who was a saint in many countries including Cyprus, Scotland, Romania, Russia, Bulgaria and many others. Citizens celebrate by having a feast, which includes a dessert such as the baked raspberry and bramble triple with drambuie. This dessert is loosely based off of the traditional Scottish trifle, which is popular during Christmas time.
The United States of America: Each year, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving (which is on the fourth Thursday of each November). Families typically celebrate the day by giving thanks to the things that they have, and counting their blessings. They also have feasts which typically includes many different entrees, with one of the most popular options being the turkey.