As much as we may think that Thanksgiving is an American holiday, there are actually seventeen other countries around the world that celebrate this holiday with the intent to spend time with family and friends while reflecting on what everyone is grateful for. Here are five countries that celebrate Thanksgiving with similar traditions to the United States.
Thanksgiving in Canada
If there’s one country that we are familiar with, that celebrates Thanksgiving, it’s Canada. Falling on the second Monday of October, the first reported celebration was established 40 years prior to the first American Thanksgiving holiday. An English explorer by the name of Martin Frobisher is known as organizing the celebration with his crew in gratitude for a successful voyage to North America. Currently, their modern day traditions follow almost identically to that of American traditions in that many workers are known to have the day off to celebrate with loved ones and feast on a smorgasbord of foods like turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and let’s not forget, pumpkin pie! However, Canadians don’t make this holiday nearly as big of a deal as those in the United States.
Thanksgiving in Liberia
Aside from the day Thanksgiving is celebrated, the traditions that hold for Liberia’s Thanksgiving are an exact match to those here in the United States. This is attributed to free black slaves living in America who chose to relocate to Liberia once it was founded as a colony in 1822. The freed U.S. slaves wanted more equality and freedoms than America could offer so they moved to Liberia and brought America’s traditions of Thanksgiving with them. As with any culture, Liberians added their own spin to the tradition but all in all, it is a true mimic of America’s culture when celebrating Thanksgiving. Maybe with just a tad more spice!
Thanksgiving in Brazil
Thanksgiving in Brazil is celebrated on the same day Thanksgiving in the United States is celebrated, however, they call their celebration Dia de Acao de Gracas of which reflects similar American traditions. Brazilians do have their own flare when it comes to this similar Thanksgiving holiday. For Brazilians, the holiday starts in a church service and is followed by a day long carnival of types; a more religious inspired celebration than that of Thanksgiving in the United States. When they sit down for their meal they enjoy much of what Americans would find themselves enjoying except for the traditional cranberry sauce which is replaced by a grape, fruit sauce instead. What the Brazillians have truly fallen in love with, aside from the Dia de Acao de Gracas celebration, is Black Friday shopping which seems to be their favorite part of this holiday.
Thanksgiving in Grenada
Grenada has probably some of the most interesting history in how Thanksgiving became a traditional celebration on the small island nation. Celebrated on October 25th, the tradition came about in commemorating the American and Caribbean intervention in Grenada, in 1983. Years prior to this celebration, the country’s democratic government was overtaken by an insurgent socialist dictatorship. Ronald Reagan, who was president of the United States during this time, happened to have a keen interest in the island nation because there were U.S. students on its soil. After learning that it was announced that all people on the island seen after 10 p.m. would be shot, he intervened. Grenada was then invaded by joint forces of the U.S and Jamacian military on what is now celebrated as Thanksgiving on October 25th. U.S. soldiers shared the traditions of Thanksgiving while on the island which ended up sticking around years later because of the gratitude of the Grenadians.
Thanksgiving in The U.K.
Though it may seem hard to believe, based on an article written in 2014, one in six Britons celebrate Thanksgiving. The origins of the U.S. holiday are rooted in the Pilgrims escape from England so it’s not a wonder that some may question the Britons celebratory fervor but being that the idea of the holiday is to reflect on ones thankfulness, the heart behind the holiday is not limited to any one country or people group. Many celebrate because of their exposure on U.S. soil but whatever the reason, it’s always worth celebrating our gratitude with family and friends.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our version of Thanksgiving trivia. Cheers to family, friends and everything we have to be thankful for!