Italian Language Blog

La Festa del Ringraziamento – Thanksgiving Posted by on Nov 24, 2021 in Holidays, Italian Language

Ciao a tutti! 

Photo from Pixabay, CCO.

Tomorrow is La Festa del Ringraziamento! Of course, this is only celebrated in the USA, but many cultures have been celebrating harvests for centuries.

Did you know that the Romans also celebrated a large annual harvest? This festival was called Cerelia, which honored Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, grain, and fertility. (And yes, the origins of the word ‘cereal’ come from this goddess and festival!)

The festival was held each year and last 7 days where the first fruits of the harvest were offered to Ceres. The celebrations included music, parades, games and sports, and a feast. A nighttime ritual described by Ovid also included tying blazed torches to the tails of live foxes, which were then released into the Circus Maximus. The reason for this is unknown, but it’s thought that the Romans believed the ritual would  cleanse the growing crops and protect them from disease and vermin, or it would be able to add warmth and vitality to their growth.


I found this really fun video teaching Italians how to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey (with bacon!?) check it out:

Some vocabulary for the holiday:

L’autunno – fall

L’Amerindio – Native American

Il corteo – parade

Il granturco – corn

Il Nuovo Mondo – New World

I Padri Pellegrini – Founding Fathers (Pilgrim fathers)

Il raccolto – harvest

Il tacchino – turkey

La tradizione – a tradition

La zucca – pumpkin

Riunirsi – To get together

Un pasto – A meal

Il tacchino – Turkey

La salsa di mirtilli – Cranberry sauce

Le patate (al forno) – Potatoes (baked)

Le patate dolce – Sweet potatoes

Le verdure – Vegetables

La torta di zucca – Pumpkin pie

Festeggiare – To celebrate

Il raccolto di mais – The corn crop

Coltivare – To cultivate, grow

La gratitudine – Gratitude

Il purè di patate – Mashed potatoes

Il ripieno – Stuffing

Il sugo (di tacchino, di carne) – Gravy (turkey, meat)

Buon Giorno del Ringraziamento – Happy Thanksgiving


Buon Giorno del Ringraziamento a tutti, e buon appetito!

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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language.


  1. Colette Paquin-Danyliuk:

    Thanksgiving is also celebrated in another country: Canada. We give thanks for the harvest on the second Monday in October (given that our climate is cooler than that in the US). Ours has nothing to do with pilgrims!

  2. Laurel Barton:

    When we lived in Rome, the people at Campo de’ Fiori called sweet potatoes “Patate Americane.” Cracked me up!

  3. Rosanna McFarlin:

    Come sempre ho trovato tutto molto interessante ed esatto. Grazie.

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