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Countries that Celebrate Thanksgiving 2024

Around the world, various nations celebrate Thanksgiving. If you’re from the United States, you probably know about Thanksgiving – the holiday that falls in November and was first started when colonists joined with Native Americans to celebrate. While this is one of the most well-known Thanksgiving holidays around the world, there are other nations that celebrate Thanksgiving.

The reasons behind the celebrations are different from country to country. In Australia, Thanksgiving was started after being brought over by whaling ships from America. In Canada, Thanksgiving is held in October and is used to show thankfulness at the end of the harvest season.

Grenada’s Thanksgiving holiday isn’t related at all to thankfulness or harvests. Instead, it is held on October 25, the same day that a U.S. led invasion occurred in 1983.

In Liberia, Thanksgiving started in the 1800s as a celebration of the colonization of freed African Americans. In the Netherlands, Thanksgiving is celebrated in honor of the Pilgrims that lived in the city of Leiden before heading to the New World.

There are other nations that also have festivals and holidays that are similar to Thanksgiving. This includes Ertendankfest in Germany, Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan, and the Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving in the United Kingdom.

  • For the purposes of this list, Thanksgiving is defined as an autumn holiday designated as a day to give thanks for the blessings of the harvest and of the preceding year. In many cultures, it has both spiritual and secular aspects.
  • Two additional countries celebrate holidays with similar names, but much different themes than the traditional harvest-season Thanksgiving:
  • Grenada's "Thanksgiving Day", celebrated on October 25, marks the anniversary of the 1983 day when US-led military forces arrived to quell a coup in which Grenada's president had been executed.
  • Japan's "Labor Thanksgiving Day", which takes place on November 23, is a nod to an ancient Shinto harvest ceremony, but is now designated as a day to commemorate labor and production and give thanks to one another.

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Celebrate Thanksgiving
RwandaUmuganura Day, celebrated on the first Friday of August, marks the start of the harvest season. Also called National Harvest Day or Thanksgiving Day, it honors Rwandan culture with traditional dances, music, and food.
NetherlandsThough not a public holiday, Thanksgiving is observed by orthodox Protestant churches in the Netherlands on the first Wednesday in November. Those who observe the day either go to church in the evening or take the day off and go to church on this day.
PhilippinesThe Philippines celebrated Thanksgiving like the United States until 1986, after President Marcos' ouster. As of 2022, Thanksgiving has regained popularity as a commercial and cultural holiday, though it no longer holds official status.
Saint LuciaThe nation of Saint Lucia celebrates Thanksgiving on the first Monday in October.
LiberiaThanksgiving is celebrated on the first Thursday of November with different customs from the US, ranging from religious ceremonies to relaxation, some seeing it as an American imposition, while others reflect on peace after the civil war.
United StatesThanksgiving in the United States, typically celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, is a national holiday marked by gatherings with family and friends to give thanks and enjoy a traditional meal featuring turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.
United KingdomThanksgiving in the UK is not widely celebrated, and there is no specific name for it. Equivalent to Thanksgiving is The Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving, a celebration of the harvest and food grown on the land in the United Kingdom.
CanadaThanksgiving in Canada, occurring on the second Monday in October, marks the end of the harvest season and is celebrated in a mostly secular manner, recognized as a statutory holiday in all provinces except New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
BrazilNational Thanksgiving Day was established by President Gaspar Dutra, later set for the fourth Thursday of November. While it's not officially celebrated, tradition is observed by various American-origin families and Protestant Christian denominations.
AustraliaIn the Australian external territory of Norfolk Island, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Wednesday of November. The holiday was brought to the island by visiting American whaling ships.
GermanyIn Germany, Thanksgiving is an autumn harvest celebration called Erntedank or Erntedankfest (“Harvest Thanksgiving festival”). The observance usually takes place in September or October, depending on the region.

How many countries celebrate Thanksgiving?

11 countries around the world celebrate their own day of Thanksgiving. Each country has its own reason for celebrating, often to mark a commemorative event in national history.

Which countries celebrate Thanksgiving?

The countries that celebrate some form of Thanksgiving are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Liberia, Netherlands, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, United Kingdom and United States.

Frequently Asked Questions