November 28th, 2024

What Is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a national holiday mostly celebrated in the US and Canada. The day acknowledges the end of the autumn harvest and the blessings of the year past. It takes place on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

Because Thanksgiving is such an important day in the US, many Americans and Canadians take time to prepare for the event. When the Thanksgiving countdown begins, people start buying produce for the evening meal. They also buy alcoholic beverages and gifts for family members.

How Is Thanksgiving Celebrated?

To mark the occasion, many Americans and Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering with family and/or friends for a meal. The meal typically includes turkey, potatoes, gravy, vegetables, and cranberry sauce. For dessert, pumpkin pie is usually eaten on Thanksgiving.

To recognize the holiday, most businesses, schools, government offices, and workplaces have a day off to celebrate Thanksgiving. For this reason, many people look forward to the event and countdown to Thanksgiving.

Alongside enjoying an evening meal, a big American Football game usually takes place on Thanksgiving. It's common for people to watch the game together after enjoying a meal. Some people also give gifts on Thanksgiving, including gift baskets, wine, or a personalized item.

Does Europe Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is an American and Canadian holiday, so it is not generally celebrated in Europe or other continents around the world.

However, American and Canadian ex-pats living around the world will usually celebrate Thanksgiving despite not being in the US or Canada. Many European family and friends will join the ex-pats in celebrating Thanksgiving.

While it's not the same as Thanksgiving, some European countries celebrate a similar event. This is known as "Erntedankfest", and it is a harvest festival to celebrate the harvest season. It is often celebrated in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

These events usually involve parades, fireworks, music, dancing, and a church service. It's often considered a religious event that is facilitated by Catholic and Protestant churches.

Unlike Thanksgiving, Erntedankfest is celebrated by eating bread, wheat, and honeycomb. In rural areas, it's tradition to prepare these foods fresh from the recent harvest.

When Is Thanksgiving?

The fourth Thursday in November is known as Thanksgiving Day.

  • Thanksgiving 2024: November 28
  • Thanksgiving 2025: November 27
  • Thanksgiving 2026: November 26

How Many Days Until Thanksgiving 2024?

There are days until Thanksgiving.