Hurricane Thanksgiving

Hurricane Thanksgiving Day is a holiday in the United States Virgin Islands observed annually on October 25th. Although the name of the holiday might imply the ludicrous thought that it is a day when people pray for hurricanes, it is actually a celebration of the end of the hurricane season.

It is also a holiday that surprisingly dates back over 296 years, before the United States was even a country. Today, the holiday is celebrated much in the same way as a traditional U.S. Thanksgiving celebration, with a few caveats. Differences include religious ceremonies and the types of food served.

The History of Hurricane Thanksgiving Day

Hurricane Thanksgiving Day has its roots in the rogation ceremonies that were popular during the 5th and 6th centuries in parts of Rome. The modern-day creation of this holiday can be directly attributed to 1726.

This was when Philip Dietrichs led special church services to give thanks to God that his community was not destroyed by a hurricane. Back then, Denmark controlled the islands. The holiday has been observed on an annual basis ever since, even after these Caribbean islands became an organized and unincorporated territory of the U.S.

Observing Hurricane Thanksgiving Day

As with American Thanksgiving Day celebrations, this holiday is celebrated with food, family, and community. Many people enjoy saltfish, rice, peas, and stewed oxtail and/or chicken. There are also Johnny cakes, fried plantains, sweet potato casserole, and beans and lentils.

People attend religious services on this day to thank God for sparing the community from hurricanes. They also use this day to spend time with friends and family or to attend community events. On social media, the hashtag #HurricaneThanksgivingDay is used to spread the word about this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
US Virgin Islands (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
October 25 Friday
Next year (2025)
October 25 Saturday
Last year (2023)
October 25 Wednesday