By: iTopTopics Staff

Grateful for the people in your life

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"When I count my blessings, I count you twice." - an Irish proverb

Even though there is no official Thanksgiving holiday in Ireland because Thanksgiving is mostly a North American holiday, not native to Europe. Irish is known for their traditional harvesting celebrations. In Ireland, there are 3 harvest festivals celebrated at the end of the growing season:

  • Michaelmas or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels observed on September 29th. There are many of the festive activities like sports, games and horse races. Traditional food for the day includes goose and a special bread or cake, called Sruthan Mhìcheil.
  • Samhain (known to others as Halloween) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. Rituals can include bonfires, dancing, feasting and ceremonies honoring ancestors and those who have died in the past year. A feast around which a lot of cattle and other livestock was slaughtered and a lot of food was consumed.
  • Saint Martin's Day (the Feast of Saint Martin) is celebrated on November 11th. St. Martin was known as friend of the children and patron of the poor. St. Martin's Feast is much like the American Thanksgiving - a celebration of the earth's bounty. Because it also comes before the penitential season of Advent, it is seen as a mini "carnivale", with all the feasting and bonfires.