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Linguofreak

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Remembrance Sunday today. Commemorations all over the UK.
Here it is to mark the ending of World War One on the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month of 1918.

Do other nations mark this?

As noted, it's Veteran's Day here. WWII is more culturally significant here than WWI (the recent midair here in Dallas was part of a Veteran's day airshow), as is Vietnam.

My mother is from Canada (technically, so am I), and my understanding is that the traditions, holiday name, and cultural association with WWI are much the same as in Britain.
 

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@Linguofreak: I think that’s because for most of us, our fathers or grandfathers were in WWII, we knew them. WWI most of those guys were gone before we knew them, it’s more like part of distant history. Sorta like youngsters today, I lived Vietnam, to them it’s distant history.
 

Linguofreak

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@Linguofreak: I think that’s because for most of us, our fathers or grandfathers were in WWII, we knew them. WWI most of those guys were gone before we knew them, it’s more like part of distant history. Sorta like youngsters today, I lived Vietnam, to them it’s distant history.

It's not just that: otherwise we'd see the same thing in the Commonwealth with regards to remembrance day, but, on the contrary my impression is that Remembrance day is to this day far more focused on WWI in the Commonwealth than Veterans' day is here.
 

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Well, this side of the pond ,free of the curse of having relatives visit and eating turkey, I had a lovely mushroom salad last evening. Bought from the shop, I don't trust myself enough to go picking etc. Makes me wonder if there weren't accidentally some 'goodies' in the 'forest mix', as it's called. Dreamed of some USS carrier getting attacked by several aircraft carriers from Czechoslovakia. :ROFLMAO:
 

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In Russia there are two holidays similar to Thanksgiving Day. the first is similar in content, the second in meaning
 

steph

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In Russia there are two holidays similar to Thanksgiving Day. the first is similar in content, the second in meaning

Well, around here, Toussaint (1 nov) and Armistice Day (11 nov) sort of fill in. Unless you mean the orthodox late Dec/January stuff, I don't think there's an equivalent for that
 

Linguofreak

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Well, around here, Toussaint (1 nov)

All Saints Day is actually more closely connected to Halloween than Thanksgiving. (Specifically, Halloween is the night before All Saints Day). All Saints Day is pretty much forgotten even by devout Christians in the US, and Halloween is more connected with old superstitions surrounding the night before All Saints Day than with any of the religious meaning of All Saints Day itself (even the superstitions are largely forgotten, with Halloween mostly being an occasion for costume parties, horror movies, and candy for children).

Unless you mean the orthodox late Dec/January stuff, I don't think there's an equivalent for that

That's just Christmas, but using the Julian calendar and celebrating it over twelve days instead of one (and both of those are things that used to be done in the English-speaking world).

Thanksgiving itself is harder to find an exact equivalence to. To some degree, it's basically just the kind of harvest festival that was fairly common back when most people were subsistence farmers. Basically, once the crops had been harvested, everyone got together to thank God that they weren't going to starve this year.

But the Puritans, whose experiences formed the basis for American Thanksgiving, didn't actually celebrate any fixed holidays except for Sundays, but their preachers would call for days of fasting and thanksgiving as deemed appropriate to the current situation, and the modern American holiday is a commemoration of one such day of
Thanksgiving after their first harvest after arriving.
 

Thunder Chicken

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Thanksgiving itself is harder to find an exact equivalence to. To some degree, it's basically just the kind of harvest festival that was fairly common back when most people were subsistence farmers. Basically, once the crops had been harvested, everyone got together to thank God that they weren't going to starve this year.

But the Puritans, whose experiences formed the basis for American Thanksgiving, didn't actually celebrate any fixed holidays except for Sundays, but their preachers would call for days of fasting and thanksgiving as deemed appropriate to the current situation, and the modern American holiday is a commemoration of one such day of Thanksgiving after their first harvest after arriving.
The date of American Thanksgiving was first set by Abraham Lincoln in November 1863 in thanks for the Union victory at Gettysburg in the summer of that summer. FDR tweaked the date to the current third Thursday of November and that's when it was really generalized as the Pilgrim's harvest festival we see it for now.
 

Linguofreak

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The date of American Thanksgiving was first set by Abraham Lincoln in November 1863 in thanks for the Union victory at Gettysburg in the summer of that summer.

Not quite. We're dealing with the evolution of a tradition of locally-proclaimed spontaneous days of thanksgiving into a national holiday with a date set by law.

There has been a federally proclaimed/legislated Thanksgiving day every year since Lincoln's 1863 proclamation, but the holiday was already widely celebrated as an annual thing before that (at the initiative of state/local governments with dates close to the modern one), and for many years afterward, while it was proclaimed federally every year, the President still had to take action to proclaim it, and was not actually obligated to do so...

FDR tweaked the date to the current third Thursday of November and that's when it was really generalized as the Pilgrim's harvest festival we see it for now.

...FDR tried moving it from the last Thursday to the second-last. November of 1939 had five Thursdays (with the fifth being in the 30th), and because at that time it was still seen as gauche for retailers to start preparing for Christmas before Thanksgiving, there was allegedly some lobbying to have Thanksgiving occur earlier. Because it was still entirely his initiative to do so, FDR proclaimed Thanksgiving for the 4th Thursday that year, and the 3rd the next two years, which caused a fair amount of backlash. Congress then legislated a date for Thanksgiving, and it's officially been the 4th Thursday ever since (which was a compromise between the traditional last Thursday and FDR's second-last).

I think the association of Thanksgiving specifically with the pilgrims has as much to do with Lincoln's proclamation as anything: small-t thanksgiving services had been held in several colonies in Virginia before the pilgrims ever landed, and the communities associated with those colonies have made their own claims to having had the "First Thanksgiving" (though I think only Jamestown has actual continuity with its original colony), but Lincoln's proclamation made Thanksgiving unpopular in the South (because Lincoln) until football made it popular again in the 20th century. Thanksgiving being unpopular in the South impeded the ability of the Virginia communities that had celebrated early thanksgivings to press their claims. Since the Plymouth colony was the oldest in the North, its story was the one that got told.

But my real point regarding the pilgrims was that you can't trace Thanksgiving back to a specific European holiday: The Puritans didn't have set holidays, so even if you trace Thanksgiving specifically back to their small-t thanksgiving after their first harvest, they never made it an annual thing because they didn't do annual things, nor, for the same reason, can you trace it past that. And if you bring in the Virginian claims, the frequent proclamation early on of one-off days of thanksgiving, and the presence of other occasions for thanksgiving (such as Evacuation Day) that helped to establish a late November date before Lincoln's proclamation, the connection to any specific European holiday becomes even harder to make.
 

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We're dealing with the evolution of a tradition of locally-proclaimed spontaneous days of thanksgiving
Thanksgiving was a holiday in both the catholic and protestant church. It would be normal for settlers to keep the tradition. Thanksgiving is still celebrated in european churches more closely to its historical roots. Essentially it's a day where everybody thanks God that the harvest this year was plentiful and there'll be enough to get through the winter. Also reflected in the german name of the holiday, which is specifically "Erntedankfest" (Feast of thanking for the harvest).
 

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Not quite. We're dealing with the evolution of a tradition of locally-proclaimed spontaneous days of thanksgiving into a national holiday with a date set by law.

There has been a federally proclaimed/legislated Thanksgiving day every year since Lincoln's 1863 proclamation, but the holiday was already widely celebrated as an annual thing before that (at the initiative of state/local governments with dates close to the modern one), and for many years afterward, while it was proclaimed federally every year, the President still had to take action to proclaim it, and was not actually obligated to do so...



...FDR tried moving it from the last Thursday to the second-last. November of 1939 had five Thursdays (with the fifth being in the 30th), and because at that time it was still seen as gauche for retailers to start preparing for Christmas before Thanksgiving, there was allegedly some lobbying to have Thanksgiving occur earlier. Because it was still entirely his initiative to do so, FDR proclaimed Thanksgiving for the 4th Thursday that year, and the 3rd the next two years, which caused a fair amount of backlash. Congress then legislated a date for Thanksgiving, and it's officially been the 4th Thursday ever since (which was a compromise between the traditional last Thursday and FDR's second-last).

I think the association of Thanksgiving specifically with the pilgrims has as much to do with Lincoln's proclamation as anything: small-t thanksgiving services had been held in several colonies in Virginia before the pilgrims ever landed, and the communities associated with those colonies have made their own claims to having had the "First Thanksgiving" (though I think only Jamestown has actual continuity with its original colony), but Lincoln's proclamation made Thanksgiving unpopular in the South (because Lincoln) until football made it popular again in the 20th century. Thanksgiving being unpopular in the South impeded the ability of the Virginia communities that had celebrated early thanksgivings to press their claims. Since the Plymouth colony was the oldest in the North, its story was the one that got told.

But my real point regarding the






























pilgrims was that you can't trace Thanksgiving back to a specific European holiday: The Puritans didn't have set holidays, so even if you trace Thanksgiving specifically back to their small-t thanksgiving after their first harvest, they never made it an annual thing because they didn't do annual things, nor, for the same reason, can you trace it past that. And if you bring in the Virginian claims, the frequent proclamation early on of one-off days of thanksgiving, and the presence of other occasions for thanksgiving (such as Evacuation Day) that helped to establish a late November date before Lincoln's proclamation, the connection to any specific European holiday becomes even harder to mak

Not quite. We're dealing with the evolution of a tradition of locally-proclaimed spontaneous days of thanksgiving into a national holiday with a date set by law.

There has been a federally proclaimed/legislated Thanksgiving day every year since Lincoln's 1863 proclamation, but the holiday was already widely celebrated as an annual thing before that (at the initiative of state/local governments with dates close to the modern one), and for many years afterward, while it was proclaimed federally every year, the President still had to take action to proclaim it, and was not actually obligated to do so...



...FDR tried moving it from the last Thursday to the second-last. November of 1939 had five Thursdays (with the fifth being in the 30th), and because at that time it was still seen as gauche for retailers to start preparing for Christmas before Thanksgiving, there was allegedly some lobbying to have Thanksgiving occur earlier. Because it was still entirely his initiative to do so, FDR proclaimed Thanksgiving for the 4th Thursday that year, and the 3rd the next two years, which caused a fair amount of backlash. Congress then legislated a date for Thanksgiving, and it's officially been the 4th Thursday ever since (which was a compromise between the traditional last Thursday and FDR's second-last).

I think the association of Thanksgiving specifically with the pilgrims has as much to do with Lincoln's proclamation as anything: small-t thanksgiving services had been held in several colonies in Virginia before the pilgrims ever landed, and the communities associated with those colonies have made their own claims to having had the "First Thanksgiving" (though I think only Jamestown has actual continuity with its original colony), but Lincoln's proclamation made Thanksgiving unpopular in the South (because Lincoln) until football made it popular again in the 20th century. Thanksgiving being unpopular in the South impeded the ability of the Virginia communities that had celebrated early thanksgivings to press their claims. Since the Plymouth colony was the oldest in the North, its story was the one that got told.

But my real point regarding the pilgrims was that you can't trace Thanksgiving back to a specific European holiday: The Puritans didn't have set holidays, so even if you trace Thanksgiving specifically back to their small-t thanksgiving after their first harvest, they never made it an annual thing because they didn't do annual things, nor, for the same reason, can you trace it past that. And if you bring in the Virginian claims, the frequent proclamation early on of one-off days of thanksgiving, and the presence of other occasions for thanksgiving (such as Evacuation Day) that helped to establish a late November date before Lincoln's proclamation, the connection to any specific European holiday becomes even harder to make.
I was referring to how the date of the federal holiday was established.
 

Linguofreak

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Thanksgiving was a holiday in both the catholic and protestant church. It would be normal for settlers to keep the tradition. Thanksgiving is still celebrated in european churches more closely to its historical roots. Essentially it's a day where everybody thanks God that the harvest this year was plentiful and there'll be enough to get through the winter. Also reflected in the german name of the holiday, which is specifically "Erntedankfest" (Feast of thanking for the harvest).

It was very certainly not a holiday for the Puritans, because they tended to regard all holidays but the sabbath as Catholic inventions. All their days of thanksgiving were one-off celebrations proclaimed in response to current events. Other denominations within England and English colonial America weren't generally quite so extreme about avoiding annual holidays, so I'm less certain, but to my knowledge there was no annual thanksgiving holiday generally celebrated on a (semi)-fixed date (nor, to the best of my knowledge, is there any such holiday generally celebrated in England today), and the thanksgiving celebrations in the early colonial era in Virginia are talked about as one-off celebrations in response to the circumstances of the colonies that held them. The concept of thanksgiving at harvest time was certainly not unknown, but a predictable thanksgiving holiday was not a feature of life in early colonial America.
 

Thunder Chicken

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It was very certainly not a holiday for the Puritans, because they tended to regard all holidays but the sabbath as Catholic inventions. All their days of thanksgiving were one-off celebrations proclaimed in response to current events. Other denominations within England and English colonial America weren't generally quite so extreme about avoiding annual holidays, so I'm less certain, but to my knowledge there was no annual thanksgiving holiday generally celebrated on a (semi)-fixed date (nor, to the best of my knowledge, is there any such holiday generally celebrated in England today), and the thanksgiving celebrations in the early colonial era in Virginia are talked about as one-off celebrations in response to the circumstances of the colonies that held them. The concept of thanksgiving at harvest time was certainly not unknown, but a predictable thanksgiving holiday was not a feature of life in early colonial America.
I never said it was? The federal holiday was specifically and originally one to celebrate the union victory at Gettysburgh. The connotations of it being associated with the Americana of the Pilgrim's harvest was a later development. As you say, the Puritans would not have approved, but this was after their time.
 

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I never said it was? The federal holiday was specifically and originally one to celebrate the union victory at Gettysburgh. The connotations of it being associated with the Americana of the Pilgrim's harvest was a later development. As you say, the Puritans would not have approved, but this was after their time.

That wasn't a response to you: Jedidia connected it to a holiday celebrated annually on the continent, but I'm not aware that anything similar was celebrated on a regular basis in the English speaking-world until it developed independently out of a tradition of one-offs in the US and Canada.
 

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I was referring to how the date of the federal holiday was established.

But the date was fairly well established well before there was anything resembling a federal holiday, and there's some fuzziness as to when Thanksgiving actually became a federal holiday. From the view of someone living in 1863, Lincoln's proclamation in that year was just another one-off, similar to others that had been made before that hadn't been repeated. From the perspective of someone living in 1864, well, that's interesting, two years in a row, but who knows if it will happen in 1865. By 1868, you have a tradition, but can you consider it a federal holiday yet? As time goes on, it becomes a very firm tradition, and there begins to be legislation that assumes the president will proclaim Thanksgiving every year, but he technically doesn't have to until 1942, when the date is fixed in law (technically in 1941, but it didn't take effect for that year's Thanksgiving).
 
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