The word is out: Thanksgiving will be celebrated this year 2016 on November 24, 2016 – next Thursday to be exact – in the USA, though we know that most of you in the United States of America had marked your calendars for this exact date and event after years of celebrating Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is most famous as an American national public holiday that is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in their country.
Many people find Thanksgiving to be one of the best times to hang out at home with family feasting on festive food, though, did you know that Thanksgiving is celebrated to different effect at other parts of the world? Other countries have their period of Thanksgiving or simply a version of thanksgiving showing their celebration of a good and bountiful year.
1. Canada’s Thanksgiving
This falls on the second Monday of October. Like USA’s Thanksgiving, this time, Canada’s version also arose from European thanksgiving for a safe fleet’s arrival in Nunavut. It’s similar in dining options to the American tradition: Canadians can feast anytime on turkey, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce the weekend before. Parades and special televised football games: the Thanksgiving Day Classic, characterise Canadian Thanksgiving (l’Action de grâce) celebrations.
2. Netherlands Thanksgiving
Exactly the same date as the American Thanksgiving – on the fourth Thursday of November – is the Netherlands Thanksgiving because of the American settlers who had resided in Leiden, Holland before heading to the New World. A non-denominational church service at the Pieterskerk (St. Peter’s church) is held, followed by cookies and coffee.
3. Norfolk Island Thanksgiving
In the external territory of Australia, Norfolk Island, Thanksgiving arrived with the American whalers and traders and is now celebrated on the third Wednesday of November. Locals consider Norfolk Island Thanksgiving one of the most important holidays in their small island, and sell produce and home-made food to raise money for their church on the day, having fun with the prices which they raise to ridiculous prices.
4. Liberia’s Thanksgiving
This time, in Liberia in West Africa, the Liberian version of Thanksgiving – their National Thanksgiving Day – is commemorated on the first Thursday of November. However, their Thanksgiving has more similarities to Americans’, as they celebrate Americans freeing the slaves nowadays with US-like dishes such as roasted chicken, green bean casserole and mashed cassavas. Liberians fill their churches with baskets of local fruit which they auction off at the end of the service.
After reading this, it may come as a surprise to you that other countries actually have their own ways of celebrating Thanksgiving, or may actually have a Thanksgiving to begin with. Though the stories behind their own origins are somewhat varied and somehow similar, what these events share is the need to pay thanks for a good year or life and hope for another good one ahead.
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