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October 6 & November 28 2024

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In Germany Saint Michael’s Day in September marked the end of the harvest season. Thanksgiving, Erntedankfest, is celebrated in a special church service on the first Sunday of October. The style compares little with the American celebration on the fourth Thursday in November to commemorate the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving to God for the land and for a copious harvest.

Europe’s harvest celebrations hold a long tradition. They are great community affairs and many have their origin in pagan rituals. From early October, when fruit and grain produce could be harvested until late November, the time when winter began, people could use nature’s riches on the last warm days of the year to club together and to enjoy festivities. Through the centuries, villages all over Germany celebrated with festivals that included dances, parades, games, banquets and pageants.

Many regions gave their thanksgiving festival a special name. German wine producing areas celebrate a Winemaker’s Fest, Winzerfest, when all grapes are picked whereas Alpine regions tend to celebrate the reaping of grain. Nowadays these traditions have not survived in many villages and towns, certainly not in cities. Modern machinery accelerated the process of bringing in crops and removed the romantic aspect of harvesting as hard work.

Celebrations on the evening of American Thanksgiving in the Ruhr Metropolis is more of a topic among foreign friends than in restaurants.

By Vincent Green, Jan 2 2022

Lederhosen German shorts


Anyone who has experienced the hospitality offered by this society knows that the country and its folk have changed enormously over recent years. The Ruhr is, as a whole, peaceful and its citizens are mostly generous and contented.


A great way to get to know the Ruhr Metropolis is to take inspiring and rewarding walks. Whether in urban or rural landscapes, take a pause, interact and allow details to become noticeable. Admiring quaint architecture, strolling side streets, the riverbanks or numerous woodlands brings joy to the soul.

Socialising in the Ruhr

Staying in touch and getting together with others living in a similar situation can be important. Expat groups in social media are highly valuable sources for connecting. Socialising in the Ruhr Metropolis can include events, international clubs or heading for a popular spot to meet international residents.