Thanksgiving Is More Than An American Holiday


Over 15 countries celebrate our delicious holiday rooted in turkey and stuffing.

While it might not be commonly thought, Thanksgiving is celebrated in about 17 different countries around the world, including China, Germany, Liberia, the Netherlands, Ghana, Brazil, and our neighbors in Canada. Be it on different days or with different main courses, at least once a year, communities of people come together to celebrate and give thanks for things given by others and by Mother Nature.

Here in the US, a typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and the never-ending war of pumpkin vs sweet potato pie. People gather with their families and closest friends around the dining room table and with the fine china that’s only used once a year, tell what they’ve been most thankful for this year.

South Korea’s “Thanksgiving” comes in the form of Chuseok. The holiday, also known as Hangawi, translates to the 15th day of the eighth month. Similar to our Thanksgiving, Korean’s have a specific menu planned out for the occasion, but instead of all eyes being on Turkey, it’s all about songpyeon, a rice cake filled with sesame seeds, red beans, and chestnuts. Chueseok focuses on showing your friends and family how much you appreciate them by exchanging gifts and participating in bonding activities the night before.

Brazilian’s celebrate Thanksgiving on the same day as Americans. Inspired by American traditions, the holiday is called Día de Ação de Graças, meaning Day of Thanksgiving.  The rumored story behind the beginning of Brazil’s Thanksgiving feast is that the country’s ambassador traveled to the U.S. one November, fell in love with the festivity he witnessed, and returned to Brazil to establish their own version of the beloved holiday.

Be it Barbados that celebrates the end of the sugarcane harvest season or Japan that honors its industrial workers, every corner of the planets has plenty to be thankful for. Many countries have rituals and spiritual celebrations that last for months while here at home Thanksgiving is only a day.

It is important to give thanks not just one day a year, but every day for your health, family, education, home, and so much more. Find it in your heart to find a way each to show your appreciation for those that matter most.

Seize every opportunity because you never know if tomorrow it will still be there. Do as much as you can to be proud of, so that next year when you gather around the dining room table, you have twice as much to be thankful for.