Read about the origin, history and celebration of Thanksgiving Day in India.
Fundoo Times: Festivals: Thanksgiving Day: Thanksgiving Day in India

Thanksgiving Day in India

Origin and History of Thanksgiving Day in India

Thanksgiving Day in India signifies a bountiful harvest and flourishing of wealth. India is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and secular country. India celebrates a number of harvest festivals in various regions and is also known for its ‘Unity in Diversity. Therefore harvest festivals are not acknowledged as national holidays, but they are declared as state holidays in their respective regions. Thanksgiving Day in India is known with different names and celebrated on various dates. In Punjab, Lohri is the harvest festival which is celebrated to mark both celebration and sharing. The day is celebrated to thank God’s provision and creation. In southern India the end of the harvest is observed as Pongal. On this day, farmers bring the newly harvested rice and prepare sweet dishes. With the wide spread of western culture, the day is majorly observed by Christians in the state of Goa. It is popularly known as 'Ladin' or 'Ladainha' which literally means a litany to the Virgin Mary. On this day, people believe that by thanking god, they will remain happy and prosperous throughout the year.

Local name: Thanksgiving Day

Ways to celeberate Thanksgiving Day in India

In India, ways of celebration vary from one region to another. Christians in Goa buy wheat and gram, candles, wine and colored tinsel paper for Thanksgiving celebration. Generally, celebrations include singing of hymns and prayers which conveys the feeling of being thankful to the Almighty. In south India, farmers cut the first harvest from their fields and offer it to the God and seek blessing for a plentiful harvest in the coming year. On this day, homes are neatly decorated and new clothing is adorned for the occasion. Prayers are offered to Gods, a variety of sweets are cooked and distributed to the neighbors and friends. The festival is common to several parts of India but they are known by different names in various parts of the nation. Therefore the day is celebrated with diverse culture and rituals.