The American holiday we call Thanksgiving has equivalents all around the world, reflecting the natural human desire to express gratitude to a higher power by means of selfish overindulgence.

In Merry England, the ancient Saxons used to celebrate Thanksgiving every year by sacrificing an investment banker to Thor.

In Quebec, Thanksgiving is known as “Le Jour de l’Action de grâce,” in keeping with the provincial government’s policy of assuring the dominance of the French language through sheer multiplication of words.

The Kirk of Scotland long ago banned all expressions of thanksgiving for earthly goods, on the grounds that God intends us to be miserable.

In antipodean South Africa, the Thanksgiving turkey is served upside-down, with the stuffing on the outside.

In North Korea, every day is Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s and Arbor Day and Easter and your birthday.

In China, on the People’s Day of Gratitude, the citizens come together and think of something nice to give the General Secretary. Usually it’s a necktie.


  1. Joseph Shaw says:

    As a South African I thought it my duty to inform you that We serve ostrich on Thanksgiving, in the exact manner you describe above.

  2. Ethan C. says:

    Joseph: that is sensible, since ostrich DNA is exactly the same as turkey DNA, except turned upside down and inside out.

  3. Gilbert Droll says:

    Ironically, Aunt Agnes, not from South Africa, served this year’s bird in the same anti-pede-an fashion after she tripped over her dog on her way to the table with the Thanksgiving turkey…

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