Thanksgiving around the world

Have you ever wondered how other places celebrate Thanksgiving?
Countries of the world.
Countries of the world.

Have you ever wondered how other places celebrate Thanksgiving? We all know the meaning of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving dinner – days of prayer thanking God for blessings. But, not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving. 

The United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Grenada, Brazil, Cuba, Saint Lucia, Liberia, China, (and others) celebrate it but in their way. Everyone has their own beliefs and what or how they celebrate. Let’s talk about these countries and what they usually do around these times.

United States 

The United States tradition of Thanksgiving started in 1621 by the colonists and is now celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The day of giving thanks and showing gratitude for the harvest’s blessings for an even better favor for the following year. They have it as a tradition to bring family and friends to gather for a meal and other celebrations on Thanksgiving. Food usually eaten is turkey accompanied by stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, other fall vegetables, and pumpkin pie. 


Canadians celebrate Jour de l’Action de Grâce (a Canadian version of the United States Thanksgiving). It is celebrated on the second Monday in October. They celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year while enjoying food. Canadian feast consisted of salt beef, peas, and biscuits. Nowadays, what they eat looks similar to an American dinner except for the dessert table. Instead of pumpkins, Canadians go for pecans, walnuts, and raisins.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico celebrates Thanksgiving with gratitude for life and those who mean the most to us. Puerto Rico adopted Thanksgiving and even chose to do it on the same day. There are no other similarities because the food is diverse. For example, food like pasteles, arroz con gandules, Guineos con mollejas en escabeche, pernil, tostones, tembleque, tembleque, and others.


Grenada started celebrating Thanksgiving only 30 years ago.  It’s a special day to remember how the U.S. military rescued them from a communist takeover and restored constitutional government. What do they do on Thanksgiving day? They celebrate it with beach cook-outs and enjoying their day with family and friends. Their foods eaten on Thanksgiving are chicken stew, roasted pork, mashed cassava root or yams, oxtails, and sweet potato pudding or nutmeg ice cream for dessert.


Brazil celebrates this day to give thanks for the blessings they have received. They call it Dia de Ação de Graças. In Brazil, National Thanksgiving Day was instituted by President Gaspar through Law 781 on August 17, 1949, at the suggestion of Ambassador Joaquim Nabuco. The day, when seated around the table for a feast in which stuffed turkey, cranberries, rice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and apple cider (a favorite beverage.)


Cuba celebrates Thanksgiving because it is a tradition that goes back to the 17th century. When the harvests were in, people could take the time to prepare a memorable meal for the whole family. The food there consists of roasted turkey or honey ham, roasted pig, yams, black beans and rice, and garlicky yuca.

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia celebrates Thanksgiving to give thanks for the island’s bounty. They celebrate it on the first Monday in October. Families observe St. Lucia’s Day in their homes by having one of their daughters (traditionally the eldest) dress in white and serve coffee and baked goods, such as saffron bread (lussekatter) and ginger biscuits, to the other family members.


Liberia Thanksgiving takes place on the first Thursday of November. They started celebrating Thanksgiving due to the nation’s founding as a colony of the American Colonization Society in 1821 by former slaves and free people of color from the United States. Families gather and enjoy roast chicken, green bean casserole, and mashed cassava.


China celebrates the three-day August Moon Festival, which starts on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. They call it “Chinese Thanksgiving” because of its spirit of gratitude and abundant food. Mooncakes are given as gifts, symbolizing unity and peace.

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