There is no question that Thanksgiving is an annual national holiday in the United States. American Thanksgiving is always well-defined, with turkey dinners, Macy’s parades, football on TV, as well as other meaningful celebrations that contribute to their concept of Thanksgiving. But do you know that there are many other countries that celebrate Thanksgiving?
Yes! Besides the United States, a lot of countries also have their own traditions to mark Thanksgiving Day. Below are 9 other countries that also organize Thanksgiving celebrations. Let’s check it out!
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8 Countries That Celebrate Thanksgiving
We admit that celebrating gratitude and harvest with a delicious meal is much more universal than we might think. According to the history of Thanksgiving in America, people in this country celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday in November. But this is not an official Thanksgiving Day for all other countries. When it comes to different cultures, they have designated their own dates and traditions for giving thanks.
Liberia had its Thanksgiving origin from the United States, owing to its beginnings as a resettlement colony for freed black Americans. The holiday celebrations are mainly organized by Christians on the first Thursday of November.
Countries that celebrate Thanksgiving – Liberia
To mark the day, Liberians fill their churches with baskets of local fruits such as papayas, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples. There is often an auction for the baskets held after the service. After that, people will retreat to their homes to feast. Additionally, concerts and dancing are known to be distinctive parts of Liberia’s Thanksgiving traditions.
In Germany, people celebrate Erntedankfest, which often takes place on the first Sunday of October. It is known as a harvest festival that gives thanks for a good year and good fortune.
Countries that celebrate Thanksgiving – Celebrate Erntedankfest in Germany
Because the day is not known as a family-oriented holiday, Erntedankfest doesn’t have much in common with the American tradition like harvest celebrations in different countries.
Typically, celebrations in Germany are organized by Protestant and Catholic churches alike. The most outstanding activities include parades, fireworks, music, and dancing. And while the turkey is the favorite fowl of Americans, Germans often celebrate the harvest with chickens, hens, roosters, or geese.
Canada Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday of October. The Canadian have many different traditions when the day comes around. The most popular ones consist of turkey ( an American contribution), and some regional dishes like salmon.
Besides, there are other outdoor activities to celebrate the day. People in Canada mark their Thanksgiving Day with a CFL Football game. Also, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving parade runs on CTV.
Japan is among the countries that celebrate Thanksgiving. In this country, there is a national public holiday called Kinrō Kansha no Hi that is celebrated every November 23. The national holiday is derived from ancient harvest festival rituals named Niinamesai.
Countries that celebrate Thanksgiving – Celebrate Thanksgiving in Japan
Today, its modern meaning relates to a celebration of hard work as well as community involvement. That’s why the translation of the day is Labor Thanksgiving Day. Kinrō Kansha no Hi was known to be officially created in 1948 with the main purpose to celebrate the rights of workers in post-World War II Japan.
Nowadays, there are many different activities organized to celebrate the special day. They consist of labor organization-led festivities. In addition, children will create crafts and gifts for local police officers.
In China, people have a special annual holiday that falls around the 15th day of the eighth month in their lunar calendar. It is known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, typically in late September or early October. That’s also the time when the moon is the fullest and brightest.
The holiday has quite the same meaning as the American Thanksgiving. China’s Mid-Autumn Festival is a special holiday to express gratitude for the change of the seasons and to celebrate the fall harvest.
The Chinese holiday is much older when its roots may be traced back more than 2,500 years. In terms of holiday tradition, they don’t have Thanksgiving staple pumpkin pie. The holiday in China is famous for a popular Chinese dessert which is moon cake. It is a baked concoction that is made from sesame seeds, ground lotus seeds, and duck eggs.
There is also a holiday in Vietnam that is equivalent to American Thanksgiving. That special occasion is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month according to the lunar calendar. This is similar to the Mid-Autumn Festival in China. In Vietnam, the holiday is a wonderful occasion for all people of a family to gather and have delicious dishes together.
7. Norfolk Island
You can find a version of American Thanksgiving on the other side of the world – remote Norfolk Island, off the eastern coast of Australia. Norfolk Island is known to be home to just over 2,000 people. This area was also frequented by whalers and traders from the United States. In the late 1800s, one American trader, Isaac Robinson, came to this island and organized a traditional Thanksgiving at a local church. After he died, locals continued to follow that tradition until now.
Residents in Norfolk Island celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast including pork, chicken, and bananas. This is considered to be slightly different from the traditional feast, although pumpkin pie is also made. Not on the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving in Norfolk Island is celebrated on the last Wednesday of the month.
8. South Korea
When talking about countries that celebrate Thanksgiving, we will not forget South Korea. In fact, people in this country also celebrate a holiday that is similar to American Thanksgiving. That is normally known as Chuseok Day, held in mid to late September. People in Korea have a very special tradition when the day comes around. Koreans will spend Chuseok Day with their family and give thanks to their ancestors.
As you can see, besides the United States, there are many other countries that celebrate Thanksgiving. Each country has its own traditions to make the day memorial. How do you think about their Thanksgiving Day celebration? Just feel free to share with us your point of view! And we wish you have a wonderful Thanksgiving season with your loved ones!