Thanksgiving Day In Australia

Thanksgiving Day In Australia – Do Australians Celebrate Thanksgiving?

In November, while the US and Canada are busy preparing for Thanksgiving, Australia remained silent as if nothing had happened. This is natural because although it is also a country of British origin, Australia is located in the far southern hemisphere. The weather and crops are different from many countries, so the harvest season is also different, leading to the Thanksgiving festival not being at the same time as in other countries. So, when is Thanksgiving Day in Australia? Is Thanksgiving celebrated in Australia? 

Why Isn’t Thanksgiving Popular In Australia?

Thanksgiving Day In Australia
Thanksgiving Day In Australia – Do Australians Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Day in Australia is different from America or Canada. Simply because it has nothing to do with Australian history. Thanksgiving has its origins in the early settlers of the United States who experienced poor harvests. It was then formalized around the end of the American Civil War.

You may have noticed from the above that the first settlers in America did not appear in Australia. Australia also did not participate in the American Civil War. The history is different, so the results are also different.

In addition, since Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, so are the seasons. A hearty meal to celebrate the end of the growing season makes a lot of sense in the United States and Canada in November, as it will be quite cold and dark for a while. In Australia, November is late spring, summer is around the corner, so they will mostly spend more time out and about.

When Is Thanksgiving Day In Australia?

There are also several Harvest festivals that often take place around Easter. They don’t use the term ‘Thanksgiving’ though. As noted above, Australians don’t celebrate American Thanksgiving but instead celebrate Australia’s National Day of Thanks on the last Saturday of May.

Plus, Apple & Grape Harvest Festival is held every March in the town of Stanthorpe. This festival is considered part of the Australian Thanksgiving ritual.

Apple & Grape Harvest Festival

Thanksgiving Day In Australia
Apple & Grape Harvest Festival – Thanksgiving Day In Australia

The Apple & Grape Harvest Festival lasts 3-4 days. Many cultural and entertainment events are held every day during the festival such as apple crushing contests, grape crushing contests, food processing contests, street parades, concerts, and performances are the main activities that attract people to attend.

The dazzling fireworks display is another feature of the festival. The festival ends with a crown ceremony for the ambassador “apple and grape”. This festival also includes the week of harvesting oranges, sugar cane, and barley.

Australia’s National Day of Thanks

Australia’s National Day of Thanks
Thanksgiving Day In Australia – Australia’s National Day of Thanks

Since the turn of this century, many have expressed their wish that Australia spends one day each year honoring the country’s Catholic heritage, the blessings and freedoms that Australians enjoy as well as God’s authority over Australia.

In 2003, National Church, under the leadership of Brian Pickering, introduced these thoughts and dreams into the Australian church network and received unexpected support. Through many exchanges and discussions, Australia’s National Day of Thanksgiving was born and is celebrated on the Saturday of the annual Pentecost, i.e. 50 days after Easter.

In 2009, after repeated requests, the celebration of Thanksgiving Day in Australia was moved to the last Saturday of May each year.

At the end of 2015, “Australia’s National Day of Thanksgiving” was officially renamed “Australia’s National Day of Thanks” to avoid confusion with America’s Thanksgiving Day and also to enhance the Australian character.

How is Thanksgiving Day in Australia celebrated?

Australia’s National Day of Thanks is a special opportunity for Australians to celebrate and thank God for their precious heritage as this beautiful country. It’s a day when Australians remember their country and give thanks to God and thank each other for the good things they bring to each other that make people’s lives truly worth living. 

How is Thanksgiving Day in Australia celebrated?
How is Thanksgiving Day in Australia celebrated?

So, how is Thanksgiving Day in Australia celebrated? It  is entirely up to each Australian, whether it is celebrated in church, at home, or in the community. How to celebrate this holiday is entirely up to each Australian, whether it is celebrated in church, at home or in the community. But whatever it is, every Australian is encouraged to make a difference this holiday.

Besides the spiritual element, this festival is also a great occasion for friends and family to gather around the table with traditional dishes of turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, corn, grape wine, and products from the land bestowed by the Supreme Being. People express their gratitude to almighty God for helping them to create products that make their lives better and better.

Finally, it’s important to note that while it’s recognized as a holiday, Australia’s National Day of Thanks is not among Australia’s official holidays during the year. Therefore, many Australians often care about the spiritual factor without thinking about partying. Even when asked “do they celebrate Thanksgiving Day in Australia?”, many Australians don’t hesitate to answer “no”!

Why Do We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Day In Australia
Why Do We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

As everyone knows, turkey has become the symbol and main meal of Thanksgiving. But why we eat it on this day is still a bit of a mystery. The history is unclear, but there are a few different theories.

When the pilgrims held a Thanksgiving feast with the Wampanoag Indians, it was believed that beef and fowl were the main meals. While it’s really unclear what kind of fowl, it’s firmly believed that there’s turkey on the menu.

This is supported by a letter written by Edward Winslow, a pilgrim, who reveals that there was a turkey hunting trip before the meal.

A turkey large enough to feed an entire family and still relatively reasonably priced from a more practical perspective.


Thanksgiving is a day that a number of countries, including Australia, have marked to celebrate the good and blessings in their lives. This holiday originated in America after being proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Different countries celebrate Thanksgiving Day for different reasons.

Australia has not been left behind in this practice. While not most of their population is interested in this day, it is clear that the holiday is becoming quite popular in the area. Western culture is gradually being introduced into a large population. Modern Thanksgiving is about family, thankfulness, and gratitude.

Want this holiday to be more memorable? Giving a Thanksgiving gift or hosting family games are great ways.
Finally, no matter where or how you celebrate Thanksgiving, we just want to say “Happy Thanksgiving”.

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