The StickerTalk Celebrates Thanksgiving Around the Globe
An observance as old as America itself, Thanksgiving annually commemorates the survival of the pilgrims in the New World. While Thanksgiving is undeniably, uniquely American, a multitude of other cultures throughout the world celebrate holidays of gratitude. Join The StickerTalk on an international expedition of appreciation as we delve into the global variations of Thanksgiving.
A holiday mandated in Scripture, Sukkot is chiefly celebrated in Israel. Jewish participants in Sukkot devote a week to the remembrance of ancient Israel’s flight from slavery in Egypt by offering special prayers and eating celebratory meals.
Fall in Korea heralds the celebration of Chuseok. Spanning three days, Chuseok observers give thanks to deities and honor the memories of their ancestors. Much like the American version of Thanksgiving, food plays an integral role in this Korean tradition. However, instead of a turkey taking center stage, a half-moon-shaped rice cake called the songpyeon sits in a place of honor on the Chuseok table.
During Yurya, a pagan celebration common to Belarus, worshippers perform dances and ceremonies to please Yurya, the goddess of spring. Believing that Yurya will provide an abundant harvest, Belarusians observe this festival of thanks before taking to the fields to plant their crops.
An area comprised of picturesque Atlantic coastline, Cape Cod’s natural allure invites admirers from all corners of the globe to bask in a haven from modern perils. This scenic peninsula proves to be a hotspot for tourism and culture, providing its visitors both carefree entertainment and intellectual enlightenment. In this edition of The StickerTalk, join us as we travel to the shores of Massachusetts and explore this iconic American destination!
Vikings may have been the first European explorers to set foot on Cape Cod. Although no proof has been found to completely support this claim, a titanic block of granite recovered from a Native American archeological site may contain inscriptions carved by Viking record keepers. However, because experts have not been able to decipher the stone’s script, this theory remains unsubstantiated.
Squanto, the Native American largely responsible for the survival of the Plymouth Rock Pilgrims, is buried on Cape Cod. Although his exact place of burial remains a mystery, this American hero’s resting place enhances the sense of historical significance exemplified by the iconic peninsula.
From the moment the Pilgrims arrived in the area, Cape Cod has been a center of industry. Although its soil could not sustain large-scale farming, the waters surrounding the peninsula served as the perfect stage for fishing and whaling. Shipbuilding and the refinement of sea salt also played critical roles in the business dealing of early Cape Cod settlers.
General George S. Patton once stated, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Taking a leaf from General Patton, Americans annually celebrate our veterans on November 11, a tradition that began on November 11, 1919. Exactly one year following the conclusion of World War I, Armistice Day arose to commemorate the brave men and women who selflessly sacrificed to secure global peace and prosperity. The holiday received a name change in 1954 when President Eisenhower declared the eleventh day of November Veterans Day, an alteration that indicated a generalized sense of gratitude towards veterans from all wars, both the fallen and the living. Today, the American tradition of honoring our heroes entails a variety of activities, ceremonies, and gatherings. Perhaps the most prominent of these events is the laying of a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a solemn act typically carried out by the president. Although many of us will not be able to witness this cherished custom in person on Veterans Day, a plethora of opportunities remain to express our gratitude to the men and women who have served. Attend a local Veterans Day ceremony, share the stories of family and friends who donned a uniform, or simply take the time to thank a veteran. Heroes who are willing to lay down their lives in hope of a brighter tomorrow, veterans are a treasured pillar of our nation that should never be forgotten.
A day that’s as unique as you, birthdays prove universal in all languages, cultures, and eras. Heralded by cakes, presents, and parties, people everywhere anticipate birthdays as a celebration of life and love. In this edition of The StickerTalk, join us as we slice into the sweet histories and obscurities surrounding the birthday!
Many of our modern birthday traditions trace their roots to ancient times. Historical records indicate that Egyptian pharaohs hosted lavish parties to commemorate their birthdays. In ancient Greece, revelers placed candles on birthday cakes as a form of worship to a select group of goddesses. A few centuries later, the first birthday party invitations were distributed during the first century in Rome by Claudia Severa, the wife of a prominent Roman commander.
Like most special occasions, there are many superstitions surrounding the birthday. In China, gifts of clocks and watches are considered an omen of ill will, and people living in Malaysia only give birthday gifts if they are close to the birthday boy or girl to avoid the appearance of bribery.
More people are born in August than any other month. However, the most popular date of birth is October 5. Additionally, more people are born on Tuesdays than any other day of the week with Sunday being the least popular day for deliveries.
As October fades into November, voting season culminates in a grand display in democracy. No matter which end of the political spectrum you hail from, everyone can agree that your vote and voice matter in the upcoming election. In honor of National Election Day, The StickerTalk has compiled an interesting assortment of political peculiarities that are sure to make you flex your cranium before you head to the polls!
Proud that you voted? Whatever you do, don’t take a selfie with that ballot! In the United States, taking a picture with your ballot constitutes a crime that may result in punishments ranging from a fine to jail.
Although American politics may seem to careen towards absolute absurdity at times, at least our system is more sophisticated than the voting system utilized in ancient Sparta. In order to vote, the governing body of Sparta would simply shout! Of course, the loudest side won the vote. However, American elections have often rivaled the antics of this somewhat outlandish operation. For example, the state constitution of Ohio blatantly declares that “idiots” cannot cast a vote in any of the state’s polling sites, and, during the presidential election of 1872, Ulysses S. Grant ran against a dead man.
While many Americans wish that Election Day occurred during the weekend, our Founding Fathers carefully chose to hold elections on a Tuesday in order to ensure that a voter would not have to choose between casting a ballot or attending church. Additionally, the first part of November was selected to host Election Day to allow farmers a chance to complete their fall harvests before traveling to the polls.