Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dankfescht and Erntfescht

Happy Dankfescht!

For Urglaawer (and for many others in the Deitscherei) this is the second observance of giving thanks. The first falls around the autumn equinox in the form of the Harvest Home or Erntfescht. At that time, folks offered up portions of their harvest to the deities (or deity of choice) and helped to ensure that their neighbors are cared for. In more modern terms, we now conduct food drives and donate canned goods to the shelters, etc.

Erntfescht is a traditional observance within Deitsch culture. The American Thanksgiving is significantly later than the end of the major harvests. By this time of the year, our ancestors were trying to store as much as they could and were culling herds to conserve resources. Granted, the origins of Thanksgiving are in one specific story of the Pilgrims and the Patuxet Wampanoag, which has now become codified as a federal holiday. Thus, the holiday falls where it falls.

Since it never hurts to give thanks to the gods, goddesses, land wights, and each other for all the blessings that we have in our lives, we'll grab a turkey drumstick, tip our hats to Tisquantum and his compatriots, and enjoy ourselves today. We wish all of our friends and colleagues the same joy of life!

Heel zu de Ziewe!

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