In the German-speaking countries Thanksgiving is an autumn harvest celebration called Erntedank or Erntedankfest ("harvest thanksgiving festival"). The observance usually takes place in September or October. Similar harvest festivals are common in many countries and regions around the globe.

Thanksgiving in Germany, or Erntedankfest, has a long tradition, particularly in rural areas. It's a celebration to give thanks for the successful collection of the harvest which guarantees another year without starvation. As you can tell, the German thanksgiving observance is not anything like the more secular traditional family holiday and feast in Canada and the United States.

Unless they live in a rural area or are church-goers, most Germans have only experienced Erntedankfest by seeing it on television. But, if you ever get a chance to personally participate in Erntedankfest in Austria, Germany or Switzerland, it will be a very enjoyable cultural experience!












First German Speaking United Methodist Church, 556 West Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, CA 91202