9 alternatives to celebrating Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Day is a popular celebration in the United States and Canada, filled with delicious food and expressions of gratefulness.

It has roots in Christianity, since Abraham LIncoln declared the day of celebration and thanks to God for his blessings 1863.

Other countries and religions celebrate times of thankfulness in other ways.

Read more about them here:

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Thanksgiving alternatives

Before President Roosevelt and Congress established Thanksgiving as a federal holiday in 1941, children dressed up in rags and masks to go door-to-door and ask, “Anything for Thanksgiving?” to celebrate Ragamuffin Day. Kids received treats such as candy and pennies in return. The tradition started in the 1700s when homeless men would dress in women's clothing to beg for food and money, according to BuzzFeed.

The Korean alternative for Thanksgiving is Chuseok. Residents visit their ancestral hometowns and share a feast of traditional Korean foods.
Several organizations Thanksgiving as a time to celebrate health and practice good health habits. The  University of Wisconsin-La Crosse hosts a yearly "Turkey Bowling" competition in which community members toss 7- to 10-pound fowl down a makeshift alley. The point of the exercise is to discourage students from smoking -- or to quit "cold turkey," according to La Crosse Tribune.
Instead of celebrating Thanksgiving, some people celebrate holiday sales. The day after Thanksgiving is one of the best shopping days of the year in terms of discounts, and recently many stores have launched their Black Friday sales on Thursday evening instead.
In Ghana, residents celebrate Homowo -- a time of remembrance for a period of famine in the country's history. They commemorate their ancestors for their strength in surviving the difficult time with a feast.

Pagans celebrate Lammas Day, which marks the annual wheat harvest. It is customary to bring to church a loaf made from the newest batch of wheat.

Instead of cooking a turkey feast, some Americans prefer to gather around food catered by restaurants -- specifically Chinese food ones. The importance of family togetherness is still emphasized.
For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is not a happy day to celebrate. The Wampanoag feast in 1621 was the "original Thanksgiving" that Americans now celebrate. Some Native Americans still celebrate this feast while remembering their ancestors who were killed or forced to leave their land to make room for the pilgrims.
Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, they don't celebrate at all. Instead, they treat those special days off from work as an opportunity to spread their beliefs with increased door-to-door visits.
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