by Kae Lani Palmisano for USA TODAY 10Best

How 10 countries besides the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving might feel like the all-American holiday, but celebrating gratitude and harvest over a bountiful meal is more universal than we think. Here's how other countries around the world give thanks.

Germany - Erntedankfest

"Erntedankfest" literally translates to "harvest thank festival," and it takes place on the first Sunday of October. German communities take their festivities to the streets for parades, music, dancing and food.


Thanksgiving in Grenada takes place on October 25th and commemorates when the United States military came to the country to help restore order after their communist leader, Maurice Bishop, died in 1983.

China - Chung Chiu

On the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar cycle, Chinese families come together for a 3-day feast. In addition to lighting lanterns and dragon dances, mooncakes are made, eaten, and offered as sacrifice to the moon.

The Netherlands

Thanksgiving in the Netherlands has strong ties to America. The holiday in Leiden celebrates the Dutch who helped settle the American colonies. Instead of a meal, the Dutch attend a non-denominational church service at Pieterskerk.

Japan - Kinrō Kansha no Hi

Meaning "Labor Thanksgiving Day," Kinrō Kansha no Hi is meant to celebrate hard work and is a way of thanking each other for service to the community. It comes from a tradition called Niinamesai, which celebrated the rice harvest.


A Liberian Thanksgiving is predominantly celebrated by Christians in Liberia, and their traditions include auctioning off fruit-filled cornucopias at their church and then returning home to enjoy a large feast with their families.

South India - Pongal

Four-day Pongal is probably one of the most illustrious harvest festivals in the world. Each day brings its own traditional customs dedicated to specific gods.

Brazil - Dia de Ação de Graças

Like many other Thanksgivings around the world, a Brazilian Thanksgiving begins with a church service and then turns into a Carnival-like celebration with a gigantic party in the streets.

Ghana - Homowo

"Homowo" means to “hoot at hunger” in the Ga language. Once it's time for the yam harvest, a celebration begins with marching, drums, chanting, singing, face painting and dancing. It also includes a bounty of roasted yams, yam soups and stews, and fried yams.

Malaysia - Kaamatan

In May, the people of Malaysia come together for Kaamatan, which gives thanks to God for rice and marks the end of the rice harvest. The holiday is celebrated with drinking tapai (rice wine), dancing and buffalo races.

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