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I have always felt like a part of my October was missing when I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Germany like I did every year back home (in Canada). I found it difficult even when I did choose to celebrate, to actually recreate it to be even remotely similar to how I had celebrated it back home. The stuffing was different, the gravy and the turkey, not to mention does canned cranberry sauce even really exist in Germany?
At some point in time I realized, new traditions can also be just as special, and if you celebrate right, it might actually end up being even more fun than it was back home!
I discovered this when I discovered what Erntedankfest was.
What is Erntedankfest?
Erntedankfest is an annual tradition celebrating the Autumn harvest, Thanksgiving essentially. The festivities will often include live music, celebratory parades and a whole lot of beer drinking (of course). The tradition is often supported by the Protestant and Catholic churches, but it is an incredible celebration that everyone can join in on.
Those who choose to celebrate Erntedankfest religiously often join together and feast at a local church prior to the big community processions. Processions in most towns often include a huge parade full of harvest-themed wheelbarrows, wooden clogs, and old tractors. A big party follows where people sing and dance the night away in the Lederhosen and Dirndl.
How do we celebrate Erntedankfest/Thanksgiving in Düsseldorf?
We celebrate Erntedankfest (Thanksgiving) in Urdenbach, Düsseldorf over the course of 4 days, similar to North America. However, each and every day includes a detailed itinerary of amazing celebrations.
- Friday Evening: The Erntedankfest Church Service
- Saturday Evening: The Erntedankfest Party (in a beer tent)
- Saturday – Monday: The Erntedankfest Kirmes (Carnival)
- Sunday: Morning beers, live concerts, meat roast, a huge parade, and another Erntedankfest party!
They update the Urdenbach Erntedankfest website every year, so you can stay tuned there.
If you’re looking for other ways to celebrate thanksgiving in Düsseldorf this year, you’ll love our list of 15 Nostalgic Things to Do in Düsseldorf This Autumn!
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