Most of the Italian lessons we publish are for the sole purpose of teaching and/or enriching your Italian language skills. Today’s lesson though has a second purpose. That purpose is to also have the lesson present a seasonal November theme, which actually is not Italian but has become a celebration that Italian-Americans have adopted and then lent an Italian flair. Of course I am speaking of Thanksgiving. In fact many Italian-Americans have even Italianize their Thanksgiving celebration by including some very non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner staples such as Lasagna, Italian escarole soup, and then if there is room left after that, a few family members or guests around the table may have a slice of turkey.
In Italy, Thanksgiving unlike Halloween has no historical or cultural significance at all. It is unlikely that it will ever be assimilated into Italian culture as has Halloween, which in Italian was at one time known only as “La Vigilia di Ognisanto,” or “The Eve of All Saints’ Day.” However, if one visits family or friends in Italy at this time of year, they are often bombarded with questions about this very American holiday, which in Italian is known as “Il Giorno di Ringraziamento” or comically as “La Festa del Tacchino” meaning Turkey Day.
Now let’s learn to celebrate Thanksgiving “Italian Style.”
Buona Festa (with this one you can never go wrong) Happy Holiday
Felice Giorno del Ringraziamento Happy Thanksgiving
Felice Festa del Tacchino Happy Turkey Day
Other topical terms:
Indiano o Pellerossa Native American
Prosciutto cotto* Ham
Patata americana** Sweet potato
Purè di patate Mashed potatoes
(Gelatina di) Mirtilli rossi*** Cranberries (sauce)
Crostata di zucca Pumpkin pie
Though not a holiday in Italy, here’s a poem dedicated to the day.
La Festa del Tacchino Turkey Day
Dall’Inghilterra son andati, From England they had gone.
I pelligrini perseguitati Pilgrims persecuted far too long,
A “Plymouth Rock” son arrivati, When they arrived at Plymouth Rock,
Amici Indiani han trovati. New Indian friends they did find.
Il benvenuto era con tutto il cuore, They were welcomed with open hearts,
Gli indiani li han aiutati con fervore, They toiled together to raise a crop,
Dopo d’una raccolta strepitosa, Their harvest was a big success,
Han fatto una festa meravigliosa. They feasted on food that was the best.
In questo giorno come Americani, On this day as Americans,
Ricordiamo i pellegrini e gl’indiani, We remember these two best friends,
E` “La Festa del Tacchino,” It is “Turkey Day,”
Answers to last month’s-ire 3nd conjugation exercises:
Buona Festa a tutti.