Časoris
Za zahvalni dan na družinski mizi ne sme manjkati puran. Foto: Adobe Stock
Za zahvalni dan na družinski mizi ne sme manjkati puran. Foto: Adobe Stock

What do Thanksgiving and St. Martin’s Day have in common?

In the US, Thanksgiving is celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for family to gather around the dinner table to share a rich harvest feast.

Rebecca Svetina, an American who has been living in Slovenia for 14 years, says that Thanksgiving is similar to St. Martin’s Day.

Rebecca Svetina v pripravah na friendsgiving. Foto: osebni arhiv
Rebecca Svetina preparing “Friendsgiving” in Slovenia.
Photo: Miha Svetina

How do you remember Thanksgiving as a child?

On Wednesday after school, we drove to my great-aunt Rene’s house for a sleepover. I woke up to the smell of a turkey already in the oven and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV.

We had a big family dinner with all the traditional dishes – including turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes, apple pie, pumpkin pie … and my aunt’s seven-layer Jell-O salad.

This was followed by watching the annual Thanksgiving Day football game, and then we played BINGO all evening. My mother, grandmother, and aunt always had small prizes for the winners.

We always kept the turkey breast bone, which we call the wishbone. On Friday, my sister and I were able to break it. The one who got the upper part could wish for something!

Kdo bo dobil večji del puranove kosti? Foto: Roger Smith/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Who will get the top of the wishbone?
Photo: Roger Smith/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

How do Americans in Slovenia celebrate Thanksgiving?

Since Thursday is not a public holiday and we need the whole day to cook, my friends and family usually have Friendsgiving on Saturday.

We always coordinate the celebration with other American families. This year will probably be the biggest ever. There will be 10 adults and 10 children (under 8 years old) – enough to play football in the backyard! Four out of ten adults are American. Each family is cooking – we organize who is preparing which dish on the menu via a Google spreadsheet!

Is any Slovenian holiday similar to Thanksgiving?

Martinovo! (St. Martin’s Day) Both are harvest festivals in November. We eat turkey; Slovenes eat duck or goose. We have mashed potatoes; Slovenes have mlinci (Slovene pasta tatters).

For reflection

  1. What are some other famous American holidays?
  2. Do you know any Americans who live in Slovenia?
  3. On which occasions does your family get together?

***

The original version of this article was published on November 23rd.

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Romana

Dobnikar Šeruga rada potuje po vsem svetu. Spoznava nove kraje in ljudi in se vedno znova razveseli spoznanja, da smo prebivalci tega planeta zelo različni in vendar povsem enaki.

Rebecca

Svetina is an English translator, EFL educator, and graphic designer. She is an American who has lived in Slovenia since 2008. She loves hiking and traveling with her family.

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