Thanksgiving in Liberia
Although most people know that Thanksgiving is celebrated in November in the U.S every year, not everyone realized that it’s also celebrated in Liberia—a country in West Africa that’s bordered by Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, and Guinea. And that’s because American slaves migrating from the U.S brought the tradition to Liberia during the 19th century.
However, these two holidays aren’t celebrated on the same date. American Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, while Liberian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the first Thursday in November. And that’s only one of the many differences between these two similar, but not identical, holidays.
The History of Thanksgiving In Liberia
Liberia is the only Black state in Africa that never had to be subjected to colonial rule. It’s also one of the oldest republics in Africa. This country was founded by the American Colonization Society that created the colony Cape Mesurado in 1821. In 1824, the territory was then named Liberia and it was established on land acquired for free U.S slaves. In 1847, the country declared independence and its borders expanded.
One of the things that the African slaves who were brought to the country brought with them was Thanksgiving. It’s been celebrated in this country since the beginning and has combined with regional practices to create a holiday that’s kind of like American Thanksgiving, but is a holiday all of its own.
Observing Thanksgiving In Liberia
This holiday is celebrated by Liberians in a variety of different ways. Some of them go to church on this day, and others enjoy dinners with their friends and family members. Some of the traditional Liberian Thanksgiving dishes include rice and yams, dried fish and cassava, as well as other dishes such as ginger beer and breadfruit. Also served on this day are cornbread, greens, and grilled meats of all different types. This holiday can be broadcast across the Internet using the hashtag #ThanksgivingLiberia on social media.