Thanksgiving Around the World


Miranda Rueda, Staff Reporter

Thanksgiving, the time of year where we can stuff our faces with turkey while simultaneously planning how we will attack someone for a thirty dollar Keurig that’s on sale for Black Friday. It’s the only holiday where we can scream at the football game playing on T.V.  and stress over our midterm test scores that still haven’t been posted. It’s truly an American phenomenon and we love every part of it. Thanksgiving is a unique holiday that has it’s fun little charms to it, but if you break down what Thanksgiving actually is, it’s just a holiday made to honor the final harvest of the year. Various countries around the world celebrate their own version of Thanksgiving and have their own foods and traditions that go along with it. Canada, South Korea, Germany, and Brazil all celebrate holidays similar to Thanksgiving.

Canadian Thanksgiving

Unlike American Thanksgiving, Canada observes Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. It’s also not a national holiday, so some provinces don’t participate in the celebration. Canadians are a lot more low-key with Thanksgiving, so there aren’t any televised parades, football games, or Black Friday. Some people even opt to host their Thanksgiving dinner on the weekend rather than Monday because not everyone gets the day off. A lot of the food is similar to what is eaten in the United States like turkey, potatoes, gravy, squash, and stuffing. Historians aren’t sure about which country celebrated Thanksgiving first; it’s believed that Canadian Thanksgiving is older.


Chuseok is a three day Korean  holiday hosted on the 14th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. It’s observed nationwide, so most people travel back home to spend the holiday with their families. Due to the high amount of people traveling back home, it’s not best to travel to Korea during Chuseok because of long traffic jams that occur. Families will gather around to prepare a traditional dish called songpyeon, a steamed rice cake stuffed with ingredients like red bean, sesame seeds, and chestnuts. This is also a time where people can give gifts to their family, friends, aquataineces, and even local business owners. Common gifts include: fresh meat, high quality fruit, snack baskets, and novelty gift sets. 


In Germany Ertedank is a harvest festival that takes place on the first Sunday of October. It’s mostly a religious holiday and it’s not family oriented. A typical Erntedank starts off with a sermon hosted by local churches followed by people in the community gathering around to drink, eat and dance. The cornucopia actually originates from Germany and was brought to the United States by German settlers. Rouladen, a meat dish that consists of meat stuffed with pickles, onion, and mustard, is served along with cabbage, potatoes, and bread. Erntedank isn’t a very popular holiday in non-rural areas, so many Germans have only experienced the holiday through television and pop culture. 

Dia de Acao de Gracas 

While there isn’t an exact origin story on how Brazil started celebrating Thanksgiving, the most widely accepted belief is that a returning Brazilian Ambassador suggested to the president that Brazil should celebrate a holiday like Thanksgiving. The president liked the idea of it, so he made it a national holiday in 1949. Since then, Brazil has adopted some of the same traditions and have added their own twists. Dia de Acao de Gracas starts off with a church service where families can give thanks for the final harvest. After the service is over, some communities host street parties and invite family and friends. A lot of the food that is eaten is the same, so cornbread, turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie are traditionally served.