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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States. Millions and millions of people will be passing the gravy boat while eying plates of turkey with a tad of cranberry sauce on the side. Undoubtedly, a multitude of thanks will be given. While we certainly approve of this tradition this is our plea to be mindful of showing appreciation year round. Therefore, we’ve compiled a few examples of various ways people around the globe give thanks all year long. Enjoy and please don’t hesitate to share your favorite giving thanks traditions.
After a heavy tourism season, the people of the Karen tribe in Thailand welcome their elephants back with a ceremony and promise of a few months vacation. The villagers, rightfully so, consider elephants to be members of their families and give thanks to their hard work by slaughtering a village pig. A soup is then made using the pig’s head and elephants are offered a small piece of the flesh with rice. It is a way of honoring the elephant’s spirit with the pig’s spirit. The animals are then adorned with fresh leaves, candles and a rupee coin. A blessing of rice water and jasmine flowers is then poured on the elephant and white string symbolizing protection and a long life is placed around the animals’ ears. The villagers then eat the pig’s head soup together.
Thanksgiving means food and it also means football so lets talk Tim Tebow for a bit. Much like the elephants, the Denver Broncos quarterback seems to have a great memory and never forgets to give thanks to his teammates. He is a devout Christian and recently made headlines (and reaped scorn) for crediting his victorious run of 100 plus yards to his faith in God. After a game, Tebow is quick to recognize and show appreciation to his fellow teammates for their participation in any winning plays—but not before he thanks his “Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” win or lose. The man is happy to be alive and its hard to find fault in that.
In New Orleans, a 7th Ward community organization honors its long-time residents who stayed in the area after Hurricane Katrina. The Porch collects oral histories from within the community and turns them into poster displays throughout the neighborhood. New Orleans gets it right again! Why doesn’t the whole country give thanks for New Orleans?
At Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park in Irvine, California, the city has an ever expanding Wall of Recognition to thank city residents who help the community. Updated every other year, the wall has seen hundreds of new plaques since its beginnings in 1971. Not just an honor for mayors, city council members, and war heroes, the Wall of Recognition honors residents who have demonstrated serious love for the Irvine community. The world could use more walls like that!
Ottawa, Canada receives 25,000 tulips every year from Holland as an ongoing thank you that began in 1945. Originally, Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands sent 100,000 tulips to Ottawa for housing the exiled royal family. Now in to it’s 60th year, the tradition has developed into a week-long Tulip Festival. Who doesn’t love Tulips?