Thanksgiving Celebrations Around the World

Women in Ethiopia arriving for celebration giving thanks.

Many people in the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving in November. But the United States is not the only country with a holiday on which people give thanks.

These women are celebrating Irreecha, a thanksgiving festival that marks the end of winter in Ethiopia. The Oromo people rejoice at the beginning of spring, the season after the dark and rainy winter. Thousands of people attend the festival, where they sing, dance, and spend time with their neighbors.

People in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, Canadians officially held Thanksgiving before the United States. Canadian Thanksgiving is in October. Many of the traditions in Canada are similar to those in the United States.  Turkey dinners and watching football are part of the festivities.

In Germany, people commemorate a harvest festival of thanks. People might carry a crown of grains, fruit, and flowers to their churches and then have a chicken feast. People in Japan also have a tradition of giving thanks. Long ago, they celebrated the rice harvest. In 1948, Japan started to observe a national holiday of Labor Thanksgiving Day. They give thanks for community involvement, and children make cards for workers such as police officers and firefighters.

As a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico has adopted many of the Thanksgiving festivities of the U.S. In addition to turkey, families and friends in Puerto Rico might also enjoy roast pork as part of their dinner.

Do you want to find out more about other celebrations of thanks around the world? You can do some research to find out about festivities in countries such as Liberia, Norfolk Island, the Netherlands, and Grenada. People all over the world are grateful!

What Do You Think? Pick two celebrations of thanks. How are they different? What makes them the same?

Photo Credit: Tiksa Negeri/REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo