在台灣很多人最期待的就是農曆新年, 不但能有長長的年假出國旅遊, 還能和家人朋友一起團聚圍爐。而在美國, 年底類似台灣的農曆新年一樣的3個節日包括了11月底的感恩節, 12月的聖誕節及年末的跨年。雖然每一個節日的重點都不同但重要性幾乎是不相上下。
In Taiwan, the most anticipated holiday is the lunar New Year. Most people have a week worth of vacation and a lot of travel plans and family gatherings are planned during this time of year. In the US, there are three holidays that are similar to the lunar New Year – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Although the focus of these holidays tend to differ, they share equal weight of importance.
感恩節是個歡慶豐收的節日, 因此總是在秋收的11月底並有四天的連假。大部分的美國人不論出生於哪一州幾乎都是離開家鄉工作，所以這4天的連假也是回家探望親人的好時機。除了探親, 豐盛的感恩節大餐也是重點。當然在美國人種國裔眾多, 所以每一個家庭都會有自己獨門的料理, 連最基本的烤火雞都能有很多不同的風味。光是把迷迭香, 鼠尾草, 百里香這三個烤火雞必用的香草換成薑黃及小茴香等香料或醬油及冰糖等醬料就能創造出獨一無二的烤火雞。在感恩節的這一天, 在廚房裡佈滿的幸福的香味, 有派皮餡料的滋滋甜味, 蔓越莓凍的果香酸味, 還有地瓜泥及馬鈴薯泥加入牛油酸奶的濃郁乳香。這一道道的料理也是把一家人及朋友們齊聚一起大快朵頤的魔法。除了美味大餐之外, 感恩節也是採買聖誕禮物最重要的時候。感恩節隔天的星期五在美國俗稱Black Friday(黑色星期五), 這一天的折扣及營業時間就好比台灣百貨公司中的週年慶。知名百貨及大型商場在太陽還沒升起就開門, 到午夜才會關門, 而且幾乎所有的商品都附帶極好的折扣。有計畫的人常在BlackFriday之前就先列出需要採買的聖誕禮物或家中必需品好在當天進商場掃貨。
Thanksgiving is a celebration for the autumn harvest and it’s the reason why it always falls at the end of harvest season in November. There is usually at least four days off from work or school during Thanksgiving. In the US, no matter where you’re from, most people work or live away from their parents and extended families, so Thanksgiving is always the perfect time to go home for a big family gathering. Besides getting together, Thanksgiving feast is also a huge deal. There are so many different races and nationalities in the US so every family has a different Thanksgiving feast. Even with the the basic roast turkey, every family would have their own spin. By swapping rosemary, sage and thyme, the three essential Thanksgiving herb with turmeric, cumin or soy sauce and rock sugar, every family can have a unique roast turkey of their own. On the day of Thanksgiving, the kitchen is filled with flavorful happy air, the sweetness from the pies, the tartness from cranberry sauce, the creaminess from the sour cream in mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. Each and every dish ties the family around the table like magic.
Besides the fabulous feast, Thanksgiving is also a great time for Christmas shopping. The day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday in the US. It dons the best deal and longest store hour of the year, similar to the infamous annual sale in Taiwan. Major big brands open their doors to the customers before dawn and a lot of them would stay open until midnight, with the heavy discounts and great deals, a lot of families plan their Christmas or home improvement shopping around Black Friday to take advantage of this special day.
… full article in the December issue of 2Rivers.