Thanksgiving Fest in Germany

Erntedankfest (Thanksgiving Day) in Germany is celebrated on the first Sunday in October,

The village of Sennfeld (near Schweinfurt) has its own tradition of celebrating this special day with a parade, dancing, eating, and drinking.

Minimum age is three for enrolling in the public dance performance

Thanksgiving - traditional dances

Dancing around the tree - fertility symbol

Traditions of songs and dance

Another dance, another outfit

My three-year-old grandniece will join the junior dancers next year.

Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.

– William Somerset Maugham –

German Thanksgiving Parade

In Germany, Erntedankfest (Thanksgiving) is celebrated on the first Sunday in October. It is only a religious holiday and while growing up in a catholic village, it meant going to church, just like every Sunday.

Besides being a regular Sunday in church, on Erntedankfest though, the church gets decorated with the year’s harvest of vegetables.

Protestants however, celebrate Thanksgiving in style. The neighboring villages of Sennfeld and Gochsheim (near Schweinfurt) are both mainly protestant. Both have a Erntedanksfest Umzug (Thanksgiving Parade) with a big fest afterwards. The most popular food items on the list are Zwiebelsplootz and Federweißer.

Zwiefelsplootz and Federweisser

Here are some pictures taken in Sennfeld (Lower Franconia) on their Thanksgiving Day parade.

Thanksgiving Parade, German style

Men in feathered hats

Some little German helpers

Advert for renewable energy

Thanksgiving Parade participants

Thanksgiving Parade

bountiful harvest

It was a rather short parade, but worth attending. Sadly enough, the number of participants keeps shrinking as interest in traditions is slowly fading.

Thanksgiving in Germany Without The Bird

That’s right – we are not celebrating Thanksgiving this year as the American half of the family is in the States right now.

Also, it is not a holiday in Germany, it is business as usual.

The kids asked me earlier whether we would have a turkey feast today. You can tell they have never gone through the preparations in regards to shopping, stuffing the bird, oven time, etc.

Nevertheless, I showed them the bird… using this plate:

Our Thanksgiving dinner (plate only...)

Our inedible Thanksgiving dinner

This beautiful plate is gracing our dinner table right now. I think we will call out for pizza later.

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