An Italian Thanksgiving? ~ Gina

Many cultures have been celebrating harvests for centuries.

thanks 2

 Thesmophria is an ancient Greek harvest festival. Southwest American Indians perform a Corn Dance, the Jewish people celebrate Sukkot, which marks the end of the agricultural year and coincides with the final harvest before the onset of winter, and many Asian cultures have celebrations in gratitude for their rich rice harvest.
The Romans also celebrated a harvest festival called Cerelia, which honored Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, grain, and fertility (and from which the word cereal comes).

The festival was held each year on October 4th and offerings of the first fruits of the harvest were offered to Ceres. Their celebration included music, parades, games and sports, and a feast.

thanks 4But Thanksgiving in Italy? How about celebrating the Celtic New Year in Japan, or El Carnaval in Russia? The distinctly American tradition, created by Pilgrims to commemorate a bountiful harvest in the New World, doesn’t translate well in another land where the Plymouth Rock would be just another stone in two–thousand–year–old Roman archaeological ruins. Even the transliteral phrase in Italian forThanksgiving, La Festa del Ringraziamento, refers to a variety of religious holidays held throughout the year for patron saints.
Variations on a Themethanksgiving- gina
In fact, expatriates from North America who do honor the Thanksgiving holiday in Italy find it difficult to replicate, since the ingredients necessary for a New England–style Thanksgiving dinner are not easy to find. Italian Thanksgiving, for most Italian Americans, then, means the inclusion of special Italian recipes to accompany the roast turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, Macy’s Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.

Every family of Italian heritage has different culinary traditions to celebrate the holiday.
An Italian Thanksgiving dinner might include ravioli con la zucca (pumpkin ravioli), tacchinella alla melagrana (roast turkey basted with pomegranate sauce and served with a pomegranate-and-giblet gravy), sweet Italian turkey sausage and mozzarella stuffing, baked sweet potatoes with lime and ginger, and evenItalian cakes and pastries.thanks 3
What matters most, though, during La Festa del Ringraziamento isn’t what ingredients are used, or who won the football game, but the opportunity for families and communities to come together and celebrate the season in a tradition that’s timeless.

italian.about.com › … › Festivals / Holiday

Laurie Berkner Band's photo.

~Gina

18 thoughts on “An Italian Thanksgiving? ~ Gina

  1. Marie, thank for presenting my “find and forward” discoveries. All of us need to say a great ‘THANK YOU” to Marie for being our editor, contributor and a provider of humor.

  2. Famous talented Russian figure skater Jevgenij Plushenko will have new exhibition on the Italian song “Grande Amore” by Il Volo !!!! I am his fan, so he makes me very happy with his choice. Art masterpiece on ice by Jevgenij with beautiful music of Il Volo will certainly be fabulous, emotionally powerful and high artistic experience. 🙂 ❤

    And boys will sing on Helene Fischer Show Grande Amore with H. Fischer.

  3. Funny thing. I happened to watch the “Cake Boss” Thanksgiving episode last night. They are sooo Italian! And don’t you know they made some of the things listed in Gina’s article. Even pumpkin Ravioli!

  4. Thank you Marie & Gina you are very much appreciated for all you do.

    I’d like to tell you about our Italian American traditional family Thanksgiving Dinner Celebration, it consists of homemade Italian Chicken Soup, Antipasto consisting of Italian Cheeses, Prosuitto , Salami, Roasted Red Peppers in garlic and oil, Assorted Marinated Olives, Marinated Mushrooms, Marinated Artichokes and Crusty Italian Bread . Next, either Lasagna or Ravioli with Meatballs and Sausage. Then comes the Roast Turkey with all the trimming, Cranberry Sauce, Bread Stuffing and Meat Stuffing, Mash Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes and Assorted Vegetables. Then finally the Desserts, homemade Squash Pie, Apple Pie, always a Chocolate Something, Italian Cookies. Lastly Fresh Fruit and Nuts. Oh yes, can’t forget the wine, lots of wine, after dinner drinks and coffee.
    We start eating around 2 or 3 and are still at the table until around 8 or 9 in the evening..
    We all take home some left overs and there is still plenty left overs for us to last for the rest of the week.
    This was our typical Italian Holiday Meal, for different holidays we just replace the turkey for another meat. Now the holidays have scaled down a bit, some married and have other obligations, some moved, and some pasted on. But the memories are always with me and I love to reflect on those good days.

    Happy Thanksgiving to All, Safe Travels and God Bless

      • Gina,girl! I’m with you on the marinated anything! Have you tried marinated Brussels sprouts? Delish!
        Thank you for this post and the reminder to be grateful for all we have! And Il Volo, of course!

    • Kate, did we grow up in the same house? Are we related in some way? I can’t believe the same exact thing for me, too. Only we would usually had two different meats: turkey and either a ham or a roast beef or a pork tenderloin or braciole. We would alternate the pasta each year between the Lasagna, Ravioli, let’s not forget the Baked Ziti. Great memories.

  5. Thank you, Gina for this wonderful article. The pumpkin ravioli and roast turkey basted with pomegranate sauce sound out of this world!

    A very special SHOUT OUT to MARIE for her dedication and countless hours spent on keeping this site the most awesome place to be!! I am so very THANKFUL YOU are in our lives!

    And as always, so very thankful for IL VOLO!!

    Thanksgiving Blessings to you all!

  6. I just want to wish the Flight Crew Board a wonderful thanksgiving thank you to all of you for putting together the best site about IL Volo. You all are amazing talented people and I feel so lucky to have found you. To all my Flight Crew members have a wonderful Thanksgiving I love sharing our thoughts about IL Volo to each other. What a great site. God bless everyone.

  7. luckylady51! I couldn’t have said it better! So I won’t!
    Thank you all so much and everyone have a terrific and blessed Thanksgiving! Too bad IlVolo couldn’t be at someone’s big dinner here in the US!

  8. Well I don’t really like ravioli but am willing to try the ravioli with pumpkin.
    Kate your recipes sound yummy
    I wish everyone on this blog a fantastic Thanksgiving & as usual Kelly & Marie & the other ladies who contribute to this blog do a terrific job of gathering information for their articles to keep us informed & entertained.
    Gina I’ve read all your highlited lines of what to read which are amazing & very interesting. It helps us to get a feel for Italy & to know how they celebrate their special days. Thank you for working to hard

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