Thanksgiving Traditions Around the World

Thanksgiving Traditions  Around the World

Sophie McDonald, Reporter

After a week of Thanksgiving break, seeing our family, friends, and eating, we come back to school. You would be excused in thinking this is exclusively an American tradition, and it would make sense–right? The version of Thanksgiving most of us are familiar with originates from the first corn harvest in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists came off the Mayflower. (Thanksgiving 2021 for more information). So, although it may be less prevalent in these times, Thanksgiving was originally a celebration of a good harvest. However, you may be surprised to find that many other countries have their own version or equivalent of Thanksgiving. 


On the second Monday of October, Canada celebrates their version of Thanksgiving. Its origins differ from the United States, perhaps even predating it, as their Thanksgiving started as less of a celebration of the harvest, and more thanking God for safe travels in the New World. Today, Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Canada as intensely as it is in America, but it still involves traditions such as being together with family and eating turkey.   



Kinro Kansha no Hi or ‘Labor Thanksgiving’ is a national holiday celebrated on November 23 every year unless it falls on Sunday, in which case the holiday is moved to Monday. As the name implies, it places a more heavy emphasis on honoring the labor of all working citizens. It is treated more as an optional day off (Thanksgiving, Japanese-Style). They do not eat turkey for Thanksgiving rather more traditional food such as fish, rice, and tea. (Fun Fact: The traditional Christmas food in Japan is KFC! (Why Japan celebrates Christmas with KFC))   


After learning about some other Thanksgiving traditions around the world, is there anything you find interesting?    What are some of your favorite harvest season traditions?